Gluten free breading extravaganza

1. oat flour mix, 2. cloud 9 mix, 3. corn flour blend #2, 4. corn flour blend #1
A while ago, a friend asked me about gluten free breading. I don't bread much but it got me thinking. And thinking I did for several months (takes me a while to mull things over).  Finally I got around to trying all sorts of combinations and I'm super excited to share them! It was a good day for Craig too, as a lover of breading and fried-things (it's on these occasions he loves the blog).

No combination turned out 'bad', in fact they were all quite good. But there were some definite winners and some others I probably won't make again. For cooking, I used a half-inch of grapeseed oil (in a ceramic coated cast iron skillet) to fry. But they would probably bake well too, just not be as crispy. I had some chicken breasts I needed to use up, but there's no reason you couldn't use fish or tofu.

I used corn flour, a gluten-free flour blend (Cloud 9) and gf oats that I ground into flour for my bases. I cut up the chicken into little nugget pieces for my experimenting, but I would totally do them again that way. Little bites are great for dipping, snacking, sharing....
I figure between Craig and I, we give a good objective score. I'm coming from a healthy perspective where if I had to, I would choose ingredients over taste, while Craig just wants it to taste good and be 'normal'. 

My batches were small and so are my recipe amounts. I cooked 3 large chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces) and used all of the ingredients/recipes below. We had 3 plates like this one. So full.  

Chicken pieces were coated in egg first, then dipped and pressed into mixes to coat fully.  

Here's the results:
1. Corn mix #1
3 Tbsp corn flour
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp no salt seasoning (from Costco) or use garlic powder

These were as yummy. I love the texture of corn flour. Nice and crunchy. Would make these again.
**This amount would coat approx 2-3 chicken breasts (not cut up)

2. Oat flour mix
1/3 cup oat flour (I ground oats in a coffee grinder)
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

You can try them without smoked paprika but truly, it adds another dimension of flavour and both Craig and I preferred the paprika ones to the non-paprika oat flour batches. I would try this mix with tofu.

**This amount would coat approx 3-4 chicken breasts (not cut up)

3. Cloud 9 blend
2 Tbsp Cloud 9 flour (recently bought at Costco)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground rosemary

Craig loved the rosemary fragrance and found the fried batter pleasing. I liked them ok, but found the Cloud 9 flour didn't hold up to frying as good as the corn or oat flour. It was a little too fine. Still really good and might actually work better on a fish like cod or sole.

**This amount would coat approx 2-3 chicken breasts (not cut up)

4. Corn mix #2
2 Tbsp corn flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Very tasty. Equally as good as #1. Top points from Craig and I. Good texture and the smoked paprika is lovely in this one too.

**This amount would coat approx 2 chicken breasts (not cut up)

5. #4 with a corn chip finish

This was delicious. Full points from both. Great crunchy texture.  I crushed organic corn chips with a rolling pin in a baggie. After coating with corn mix #2, I dropped the piece in the baggie and rolled it around to coat in chips.

6. #1 with a corn meal finish

I coated these with corn mix #1 then added a coating of raw corn meal. The corn meal or corn grits are a little too gritty for this and don't soften enough with frying. Not horrible, but I wouldn't add that step again. Craig said good but not as good as #5.

More testing going on this plate below. Numbers getting a little greasy.  #4 I tried coating with #1 and #2 both. Not super exciting. #6 is #1 with a corn chip finish. Yummy. I think the corn chip finish is a winner.

Craig wanted me to try #3 with a corn chip finish but I ran out of chicken. He thinks it will be the best one yet. I'm not convinced, but if you happen to try it, let me know :)

Happy GF breading.

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