This smoky shredded chicken dish is one of my favourites for a quick dairy & gluten free dinner that works well for the whole family. It’s not at all complicated to make, you can pretty much just chuck it all in a large pan and then let it simmer for an hour. It’s also a good option for batch cooking, as it’s so easy to double up the quantities, and freezes well.
The recipe uses coconut aminos (a soy free and gluten free alternative to soy sauce), which you may not have used before. It took me a few years of having children with soy allergies to discover it, and I now use it all the time in rice dishes and stir fries. It tastes similar to soy sauce, but with a slight sweetness and not quite such an intense taste.
I often serve the chicken with rice and peas, and it’s also nice with potato wedges or roasted sweet potato chunks.
For babies: Shredded chicken is pretty soft and the long pieces are easy for babies to pick up and chew. They will enjoy sucking the sauce off! If you’d rather limit the maple syrup then this can be cut down and it will still taste nice. The amount of chilli powder in here gives only a small level of spice and is ideal to introduce these sorts of flavours to your little one. Again, you can cut this down and build up the amount slowly if you prefer.
For babies and toddlers with sensitive skin, tomatoes can sometimes be a little irritating to their skin. I find putting a barrier cream (such as Lansinoh nipple cream) around their mouths before eating really helps with this.
Ingredients and method:
The following quantities make 4 portions
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil, for frying
- 3 large chicken breasts, skin removed (around 600g)
- 200ml low salt chicken stock (always check the ingredients – Kallo is dairy, soy and gluten free)
- 400ml passata
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (e.g. CocoFina)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dice the red onion into small pieces. Add the oil to a large saucepan and heat it on a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for around 5 minutes, until they start to soften. Then add the chicken breasts and brown on each side for a couple of minute. Make up the stock according to the packet instructions, and add this to the pan along with all other ingredients.
Mix it well, then bring to the boil and simmer gently, covered, for 40 minutes. Take the lid off and use a knife and fork to shred the chicken. Return to the heat and cook for a further 20 minutes; uncovered so that the liquid reduces and thickens up a bit.
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