the low-fodmap chicken casserole
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45-50 minutes Serves: 3-5
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:
- Beans / legumes
- Most dairy
- Onions / garlic
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)