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Gluten-free and flavorful, too

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CRISPY CHICKEN

Makes 6 servings

6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

2 cups rice milk (or to cover, optional)

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

2 eggs, well-beaten with 2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 cups gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim thighs of excess fat and cut in half. Place in glass baking dish.

If brining, in small bowl, mix rice milk and salt, if using; stir to dissolve salt. Pour over chicken and let rest 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.

Line an 18x13-inch pan with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In small bowl, mix egg-water mixture with mustard; whisk to mix well, Pour into shallow bowl.

Place brown rice cereal in a 1-gallon self-sealing plastic bag. Squeeze out the air and seal. Using a rolling pin, roll to crush cereal to fine crumbs, leaving some coarse pieces intact.Transfer crushed cereal to large flat plate.

One by one, dip chicken first in egg-mustard mixture, turning to coat each side well, then in the cereal, turning and patting to coat well. Transfer to parchment paper-lined pan.

Spray chicken lightly with nonstick cooking spray and bake until cooked through and crisp, 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve.

Note:

Serve with a gluten-free sauce of your choice or the cookbook’s Ten-Minute Barbecue Sauce; the recipe is online at suntimes.com. The batter also can be used with 11⁄2 of chicken tenders or tilapia, and baked at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. —From “Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen”

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Updated: September 5, 2013 12:04PM



The first thing Carlyn Berghoff did after her then 13-year-old daughter, Sarah Berghoff McClure, was diagnosed with celiac disease was head to the bookstore.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease that primarily impacts the small intestine. (It’s not just a stomach ache; a person cannot absorb nutrients.) The only way to force the illness into remission is by following a strict diet without gluten — which is primarily in wheat, barley and rye. That’s no simple task for the home (“overwhelmed” was the working mom of three’s initial response, but quickly followed by, “OK, I can do this.”). So, a gluten-free cookbook was essential.

What Berghoff — CEO of the Berghoff Catering and Restaurant Group — found was disappointing. Long, complicated recipes, often with odd and hard-to-find ingredients. Worse yet, the dishes weren’t appetizing.

As someone who has spent her life surrounded by food, the Culinary Institute of America graduate knew this wouldn’t do. Especially since she decided it would be easier for her family of five to all follow a gluten-free diet than cook separately for Sarah. So, along with Sarah, she started experimenting with family-friendly recipes and trying out gluten-free convenience products (which is, she admits, “an expensive tasting proposition.”).

Berghoff did indeed create recipes she and her family can enjoy, and, decided to share the recipes — and what her family’s learned about living with celiac disease — with others. The result is Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen, which she co-wrote with Sarah, Dr. Suzanne P. Nelson and Nancy Ross Ryan, who Berghoff had collaborated with on earlier cookbooks.

The recipes are simple and, while aimed at the teen palate, these are dishes diners of all ages can enjoy. Foods teens say they missed after being diagnosed — pizza, “good bread,” chicken nuggets (see accompanying recipe) — are all here.

Also included are names of packaged products the family has enjoyed (Rice Krispies gluten-free cereal, Trader Joe’s ginger snaps are but two).

Creating a gluten-free kitchen is a challenge, but doable. “It takes organization and a little bit of time, but it certainly isn’t impossible,” said Berghoff.

Email: sontiveros@suntimes.com

Twitter: @sueontiveros



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