Spiced Roasted Chicken #glutenfree
Roasted chicken is such an easy, tasty dinner dish and it takes very minimal prep. Especially, if you also roast some seasonal vegetables in the oven with a little EVOO, salt and pepper. Doesn’t that look delish? The red color comes from the spice sumac. There are so many different ways to season chicken and I’m going to share a couple of my absolute favorite spice blends with you.
Spices are Awesome
The health benefits of spices are well-known and ancient (make sure they are gluten-free and preferably organic) and using them to flavor food is so much better than just covering the chicken with processed cheese or canned soup that has very little nutritional value.
When I first started cooking years ago, I made casseroles with Campbell’s cream of mushroom or celery soup. In fact, one of my grad school profs brought a dish (her grandma’s recipe) for a killer zucchini squash casserole to a school potluck party. We all raved about it and after she shared the recipe, I made it for years on Thanksgiving and Christmas. As well as the traditional green bean casserole that my mom taught me to make from the back of the French’s Fried Onions canister.
Those were some of the first dishes I made for my husband. And why not make queso with Velveeta cheese and Rotel to pour over chicken tostadas or nachos for dinner, too. No wonder we got so fat!
I saw this saying on Instagram and love it — you just can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Especially after 35!
Food Choices for Cleaner Eating
After realizing how much better clean eating is and ditching the processed stuff (instead of replacing it with gluten-free processed stuff) we often turn to spices and vinegars for flavor. Most vinegars are gluten-free except malt vinegar and maybe some Balsamic vinegars with caramel coloring added depending on where it is from.
Basically, we eat a Mediterranean diet with a Texas kick. You don’t have to eat crappy food filled with sugar, salt and preservatives because you are busy especially now with so many better options available.
I often ate poorly in college, grad school, law school, working… I know how busy things get, but it really is attainable to cook fresh food at home with some menu planning. And we shop the grocery store perimeter for almost everything. It’s so much better, cheaper and healthier to eat real food – fresh produce, organic whole grains and lean protein.
I’m so lucky because making dinner is such a bonding moment with my husband (most of the time if we aren’t hangry – then it’s not so much fun). We like to plan the meals for the week and get excited about food! And it makes coping with all my dietary restrictions way more bearable.
Favorite Spices Blends for Roasted Chicken
Anyway, back to the spice blends and fabulous homemade roasted chicken! Roasted chicken and veggies usually make it onto the menu most weeks because it is easy to make and you get a variety of different flavors by changing up the spices. Of course, seasoning with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper is pretty amazing on its own. But mixing it up is fun, too.
My two favorite blends are Cajun Seasoning and Seasoned Salt. We also enjoy taco or fajita seasoning, too.
Cajun Seasoning Spice Blend
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Just mix all the spices together and store in an airtight spice container.
Now since we discovered organic air-chilled chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless) that is our preference, but you can use any type of chicken that you like.
For bone-in split chicken breasts, brine the chicken by rubbing the seasoning under the skin (sometimes I’ll do this earlier or in the day or overnight for deeper flavors but it can be done just before putting it in the oven). I usually use 1-2 teaspoons of spice mixture per breast.
Place in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees. And voila – spicy, succulent chicken!
4 tbsp kosher salt
4 tsp organic raw cane sugar
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp GF cornstarch
This seasoned salt is very versatile and I use it often in recipes that call for ordinary salt. I love that it contains turmeric, which we all know is so good for us. You could easily omit the added sugar, too. And this blend makes an amazing brine when added to water. Check out how we use it when making gluten free fried chicken tenders.
Now to add a tangy treat to the chicken, use some sumac in the spice blend.
Growing up with a Persian mother, I was very familiar with the spice sumac. We would sprinkle it on Persian kebabs and rice. It adds a nice tangy flavor. So I’ve always had some in the pantry, but I never really thought about using it as a brine until I was inspired by recipes on Instagram. And wow – it is so good when you add a little bit to the seasoned salt spice blend.
You don’t need a lot – maybe 1/4 teaspoon per 2 teaspoons seasoned salt. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken and bake for an easy, healthy and delicious dinner.