Sometimes we just need reminding of the delicious meals out there that are naturally FODMAP-friendly. Roast chicken is one of my favourites, and is simple to just throw in the oven & let it do its thing! I also like to make sure I have enough meat left over to make a couple of extra meals, like a chicken & mushroom or a nice restorative chicken noodle soup.
Roast chicken meal for 2:
1.5-2kg free-range organic whole chicken
1 large fennel bulb* (super cheap at the market in season!)
6 medium potatoes
other veg for roasting, e.g. yams
green veg, such as broccoli
1 stock cube, made up to 500ml
splash white wine / vermouth
stale spelt bread crusts
1 small onion**
rasher of bacon (optional)
*N.B. Some people may not tolerate fennel. Personally, I tolerate it when it is very well-cooked, and can eat a small amount of raw fennel. I love to use it in soup, fish pie and in potato gratin when it goes all meltingly delicious!
** N.B. Some people may tolerate a tiny bit of onion – I use it for the benefit of the other people eating with me, knowing that I will only eat a very tiny amount spread through the stuffing, which usually won’t cause me any symptoms if I have been good that day.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
First, make some stuffing. When writing this, I had cooked bacon earlier in the day, so instead of cooking up more bacon, I just dice the onion very very small, and I fried it gently in all the bacon-y goodness! I crumble the bread into this, add the zest and half the juice of the lemon, and just enough stock to dampen it and scrape up all the flavour from the pan.
Clean the chicken and dry with paper towels. Jam the stuffing into the cavity and truss up with skewers. Slice the fennel thickly and create a wee bed in the roasting dish. Pop the chicken on top of the fennel, drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper & sea salt. Put this in the oven and set the timer for 1 and a half hours while you get on with the veges.
Bring a big pot of water to the boil while you scrub and chop the potatoes into golf-ball sized chunks. When the water is boiling, put the 2nd half of the lemon in with the potatoes & yams. Boil for 10 mins, then drain and toss in a colander to rough up the edges a bit. Throw back in the pot with some olive oil, salt & pepper (and thyme if you have it). Put the veges around the chicken to roast for the remaining hour or so.
When the chicken is done, take it out to rest, transfer the potatoes into a serving dish and pop back in the oven, and place the roasting dish on the stove with the fennel and yummy brown bits ready to make the gravy. Splash in your wine/vermouth and add the rest of your stock from earlier. Scrape all the nice chicken brownings into the gravy and bubble for about 10 mins until reduced. Season to taste and thicken with a little cornflour/water slurry if you wish.
Lastly, put a lidded pan on a high heat for a broccoli. When hot, put the broccoli in with a splash of water, put the lid straight on and set the timer for 2 mins. Shake every so often while you are carving the chicken. After the 2 mins is up, throw in a knob of butter and set for another two minutes.
Serve it all up together, smother with delicious gravy and enjoy! (Just make sure you save half the chicken meat before people start picking at the carcass!)
Now, the 2nd and 3rd meals you can get out of this are waiting in the wings…
Delicious Chicken Pie
Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s “Chicken & Sweet Leek Pie” in “Jamie’s Dinners”
Couple of handfuls of leftover chicken meat
1 leek *
1 large carrot
1 stick celery
a couple of handfuls mushrooms
a splash white wine/vermouth
a tbsp spelt flour
1/2 cup lactose-free milk (Liddel’s lactose-free cow’s milk is great, I don’t think soy milk or rice milk would work for this)
cup or so of water
pastry of your choice
* N.B. While leeks are in the onion family, test if you can tolerate them… they are much milder especially when well-cooked and give a great subtle base flavour.
Slice the leeks, carrot, celery and mushrooms and saute on a med heat until beginning to soften. Add the chicken and turn up the heat. Sprinkle flour over and stir through. Add wine/vermouth, milk and enough water to make the mixture quite wet. Bring to a gentle simmer and turn down the heat as low as possible. Simmer very slowly for about 30mins until thick and delicious and gooey! Pop into a pie dish. You can cover and refrigerate until the next day now.
When you are ready to eat this meal, take it out of the fridge and put your pastry on top. I’m going to be very naughty and indulge in some REAL wheat puff pastry! I’m lucky, if I have stayed safely away from gluten for a decent period of time I can safely eat a serving of wheat without serious symptoms – and flaky butter-puff pastry is just something I don’t think you can successfully make gluten-free!
So, I cover the top of the pie with pastry, brush with egg wash, prick a few holes in it and bake at 220°C for 30-40 mins until delicious and golden!
And, the third meal…
A Restorative Chicken Soup
First, reserve a handful of white meat when making your pie, and make a stock from the carcass of your roast chicken. I add the tops of leeks, celery or fennel (which I squirrel away in the freezer in snap-lock bags for such an eventuality as this!), and half a carrot, or even just carrot peel left over from making the pie!!! I cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for at least an hour. DO NOT salt the stock until you make the final recipe. Strain and store in the fridge or freezer until you need to quickly throw together something nourishing.
To make into chicken soup, I cut some celery, carrot and leeks* along with ginger and red chilli into a fine julienne, and saute gently in a little butter. I add the stock and bring to a simmer, then season to taste. I then add some noodles if I feel like it – rice noodles, or soba noodles or even some cooked gluten-free pasta – and the chicken meat if you have some and simmer a little longer to heat through thoroughly.
Administer immediately and liberally to stave off the winter chills! The amount of ginger and chilli required depends on the taste of the individual. When I feel a cold coming on there is nothing like a spicy, gingery chicken broth to put things right!
*N.B. Leeks may not be tolerated.
So, there you go… 3 nights worth of FODMAP-friendly meals to keep you feeling warm and comforted on a cold winter’s night!