FEAST FOR FREEDOM
Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

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Categories: Main Dishes - Chicken    

This is an easy way to add some pizazz to your dinner, that the whole family will love.

Baked chicken basted with fresh salsa on a wooden cutting board
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook and resting time: 1:30 to 1:40 hours Makes: 4 servings Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Grain free Soy free

You can make your own Homemade Blender Salsa, or use a bottled variety. Be sure it's labeled gluten free. Read the ingredient label and ensure it contains only food ingredients and no additives. This should be readily available with a bit of label reading. Many of the additives can cause digestive upset, particularly if you're trying to heal your gut.

Use all organic ingredients, and ensure any packaged or bottled ingredients are labeled gluten free. Be sure the chicken has not had broth or marinade added to it. You'll need to check with the store, as it's not always labeled, and can include gluten and / or unwanted food additives.

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Ingredients:
1 Chicken (2.5 to 3.5 pounds)
2 cups Homemade Blender Salsa, or good quality jarred salsa
2 tablespoons Butter, melted or coconut oil
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Chicken: You can use cut up chicken instead of a whole chicken if you prefer. It may take less time to cook, so reduce cooking time to about 1 to 1:15 hours. Start checking for doneness at 45 minutes.
  • Dairy free: You can use coconut oil, lard or chicken fat in place of the butter. You want to use a saturated fat as it's heat stable. As a last resort you can use olive oil, as it's a bit more heat stable than other vegetable oils (it's mostly a monounsaturated fat), but not quite as good as a saturated fat.
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine 1 1/2 cups Salsa and melted butter. If the mixture is cold and the butter goes hard, warm in a small pan until butter melts again.
  • Use a pan that's just the right size to fit the chicken. Spread 1/2 cup of Salsa on the bottom of the pan.
  • Use a fully thawed chicken. Remove any parts that are inside the bird. You can cook these at the same time if desired. Rinse the chicken inside and out and / or pat dry with a paper towel. Place chicken in pan on top of Salsa.
  • Use about 1/2 cup Salsa and spread over chicken.
  • Bake in preheated oven.
  • A whole chicken (2.5 to 3.5 pounds) will take about 1:15 to 1:30 minutes, or until meat registers 165 F with a meat thermometer. See notes below on cooking times for different chicken sizes, and on how to use a meat thermometer.
  • Every 15 minutes, redistribute the salsa on the chicken, and add a couple tablespoons more of the butter / Salsa mixture. It's important to keep doing this to prevent the salsa from burning on the chicken before it's fully cooked.
  • When done, remove from oven, cover with a lid or foil, and let sit for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes a moister chicken.
  • Serve with the additional 1/2 cup of Salsa in a small bowl on the dinner table.

Serve with rice or potatoes, and some steamed veggies for a lovely dinner.

Enjoy!

Using a meat thermometer:
  • A whole chicken is ready when a meat thermometer reads at least 165 F when inserted into the inner thigh (close to but not touching the thigh bone).
Cooking times for whole chicken - unstuffed:
  • 2.5 to 3 pounds - 1:15 hours
  • 3-3.5 to pounds - 1:25 hours
  • 3.5 to 4 pounds - 1:35 hours
  • 4 to 4.5 pounds - 1:45 hours
  • 4.5 to 5 pounds - 1:55 hours
  • 5 to 5.5 pounds - 2:05 hours
  • 5.5 to 6 pounds - 2:15 hours
  • 6 to 6.5 pounds - 2:25 hours
  • 6.5 to 7 pounds - 2:35 hours
  • 7 to 7.5 pounds - 2:45 hours
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