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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

the low-fodmap chicken casserole

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45-50 minutes Serves: 3-5

Chicken casserole in cast iron skillet outside

Anyone here ever been averse to the word "casserole?"


Growing up, that word made me cringe. I immediately pictured a bowl of strange, mushy ingredients that someone threw together & tried to make work. Technically, the name just comes from a baking dish called casserole, but let's be honest, it sounds disgusting.


But as I'm sure you've experienced, age changes things. Taste buds develop & foods that were once hard to stomach, sometimes become manageable, or dare I say enjoyable.


Nowadays, I can understand the appeal of a casserole dish. Don't get me wrong, the name still weirds me out, but it's easy to make, requires little prep time, & tastes like comfort.


In fact, you can do a lot with a casserole dish to meet different dietary needs. That was the goal with this recipe. Some variations call for flour & dairy but I kept it gluten & dairy free by omitting the flour & substituting dairy with coconut cream to create a rich flavor without it feeling too dense.


This recipe is can be tossed together in minutes & customizable to your liking. If I may suggest... consider rotating the ingredients each week. For example, I like to use arborio rice one week, wild rice the next. Carrots one week, broccoli the next. Check out the recommendations below & let your imagination run :)


a note on FODMAPs:

I won't dive into the nitty gritty of what high & low FODMAP foods are (more to follow) but to quickly summarize: High FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates & sugar alcohols that can be difficult to digest for some people, especially those with certain gastrointestinal (GI) conditions like Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It's a bit of a mouthful but the term "FODMAP" stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, & Polyols, which comprise a group of carbohydrates found in a LOT of foods, most of which are quite good for us.


Some of these foods include:

- Apples

- Pears

- Avocados

- Beans / legumes

- Most dairy

- Onions / garlic

- Asparagus

- Cauliflower

- Mushrooms

- Grains like wheat, rye, farro

- And many more...


If you're following a low FODMAP protocol, 1) I empathize with you, kissing garlic goodbye is painful and 2) this recipe is completely free of high FODMAP foods. So whether you're following the protocol due to a recent SIBO diagnosis, IBS, or general GI sensitivities, this recipe is one that I hope everyone can enjoy.



C O N S I D E R A T I O N S

  1. Garlic - If you're following a low FODMAP protocol & miss the taste of garlic, start cooking with garlic-infused olive oil. That's right. It's completely fine to have while following the protocol. FODMAPs are soluble in water, not fat, so garlic-infused olive oil won't trigger the same digestive symptoms as it would if you were to eat a clove of garlic. The same would apply if you had onion-infused olive oil, apple, or even pear. If you're not following the protocol, then I highly encourage you to add 1 tsp of garlic powder - it's wonderful.

  2. Rice - Arborio rice is my personal favorite but you can use any variety. If you want a heartier grain like brown rice, black, or wild, consider adding about 1/4 c more of water, they absorb water like crazy.

  3. Vegetables - For the recipe below, I used asparagus, carrots, & one bell pepper but choose whatever you'd like. I make this recipe weekly & constantly switch up the veg. Pick your 3, chop them up, then add to the rest of the ingredients.

  4. Fresh herbs - You'll see curly parsley listed below but again, this is flexible. Italian (flat-leaf) parsley & cilantro are both great options. But whatever you do, I wouldn't omit this, they add a ton of flavor. You can also add fresh basil, dill, or sage for a little more variety.

chicken casserole in cast iron skillet on marble table

I N G R E D I E N T S


3-4 chicken thighs, organic & pasture raised if possible

1 c arborio rice, dry

1 c coconut milk, canned

2 ½ c vegetable broth

2 Tbsp garlic-infused olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

4 asparagus stalks, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 medium bunch of curly parsley, chopped

1 tsp sea salt + extra to salt the chicken

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary

½ tsp dried oregano

⅓ c green onion, chopped

pinch of red pepper flakes (we're talking a few sprinkles unless you want your mouth to burn)


S T E P S


Preheat the oven to 400F & put the broth in a pot, bring to a boil, then set aside.


Take out the chicken & set aside on a plate. Lightly salt the chicken (this is not the teaspoon of salt listed above, this is in addition to it). Salt the bottom, under the skin, & on top of the skin. *Key note - chicken NEEDS salt. I really wouldn't recommend skipping this step unless you're needing to closely monitor your sodium. Adding salt underneath the skin is a game changer too... otherwise the skin will be full of flavor & the meat will be bland.


Chop your vegetables into your preferred size. Cut up the parsley and / or cilantro & set aside.


Grab a medium-sized bowl & add the dry rice, coconut cream, & boiled water to it then stir together.


Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl, except the chicken, & stir together.


Pour the mixture into a cast iron or medium-sized casserole dish (about 2 inches deep).


Set the chicken on top of the mixture, leaving breathing room for each chicken thigh.


Take a spoon & scoop some of the casserole mixture on top of each thigh so they can absorb more flavor.


Top with cracked pepper & a little sea salt then place in the oven. Cook for 45-55 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. The top of the chicken should begin to crisp & the skin should start to peel away.


Dish your plate & enjoy :)


kenn

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