chicken

Paleo Chicken Nuggets

Hi my name is Morgan and I am a five year old when it comes to chicken nuggets or tenders. Whenever hubby and I go to Citi Field for a Mets game (LGM!) I always get the same. exact. thing: Chicken tenders and french fries with a shake (from Shake Shack because duh…). I’ve ventured off the beaten path once and got a sausage and peppers, and the game wasn’t the same. What’s not to love about tenders and nuggets? They’re crispy, fried, juicy, and honey mustard makes for the perfect pairing. No questions asked.

I love using cassava flour to make nuggets, tenders, and cutlets because not only is it grain/gluten free, it’s provides such a depth of flavor from the yucca root itself. I use Thrive Market’s Cassava Flour – found here (also if you use the banner, you can get $20 shopping credit when you sign up for a membership!) and love the texture of it. Cassava is also super versatile and is usually a 1:1 ratio for subbing out AP flour when baking. The way the chicken crisps up when battered in cassava flour is very similar to using breadcrumbs.

Here’s what you’ll need for these paleo nuggets:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Thrive Market Non-GMO Cassava Flour (or preferred brand)
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried rosemary
  • 4 tbsp avocado/olive oil
  • 3 tbsp grass fed butter
    • having a blend of healthy fats to shallow fry the chicken in helps with the crispiness and less splatter.
  • dipping sauce of choice
    • we used Cedar Foods tzatziki sauce.

For these nuggets, it’s as simple as a four-step process:

  1. Rinse and pat dry your chicken. Slice each breast into bite size pieces.
  2. Pour the cassava flour and dried spices into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Add chicken pieces to the flour and mix together to fully coat each piece.
  4. Heat a skillet/large pan with oil and butter on medium heat and begin to place several pieces into the skillet. Let each piece sit for 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

I swear this will become a family favorite, and will definitely be a weeknight go-to as this is one simple and quick dinner to pull together, especially if you have the chicken cut ahead of time. This could be delicious as chicken alfredo, thrown in with some broccoli for a stir fry, or just as is with a dip and veggies on the side!

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

Being that it’s Thanksgiving, I should probably experiment with turkey recipes, but neither my husband or I are super crazy about it, although I do have my eyes set on tying to make roasted turkey legs (i’d prefer dark than white meat from a turkey anyway). I remembered I had ground chicken in my freezer and decided to give this one a shot, because chicken meatballs can take one sharp sauces such as teriyaki and I figured why not, it’s Black Friday and I am absolutely not about to go shopping – may as well cook!

Here’s what you’ll need for the chicken meatballs:

  • 1 lb or package of ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs as a binding agent
  • Chopped veggies such as carrots, celery, and onion (aka Mirepoix – you can buy store made already which I did this time around)
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, spices, oil, and mirepoix. It will be a rather sticky blend but it will bake just fine.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with your choice of spray oil. Portion on the meatballs with a tablespoon, roll into balls and place on the tray. The mix should make around 16 meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

For the teriyaki sauce, I used Primal Kitchen’s No Soy Teriyaki but added arrowroot to thicken it up and a bit more coconut aminos. The end result is a super delicious soy-free, paleo sauce to pour over the meatballs, and pair with a side of wild rice and veggies! Enjoy!

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

I am a sucker for a good chinese food take out night. The flavor, the greasiness, the dumplings (I am obsessed with dumplings), and the overall deliciousness of the cuisine. I know that American-style chinese food is not necessarily compatible to the real deal in China, and American-style chinese food tends to have a significant amount of sugars, sodium, and soy sauce, which causes my belly to get upset pretty quickly. I have always wanted to dabble at making a stir fry, so I figured tonight was the perfect night to do so.

I love recipes that call for simple ingredients, such as this one. I’ll keep the narrative light on this recipe but will say that I swear by Coconut Aminos. Coconut aminos acts as soy sauce and even sometimes a teriyaki when sugar is added, as it’s made directly from a coconut and has a lot more nutrients than soy sauce. I don’t prefer soy products so this is a great alternative, especially when paired with rice wine vinegar and a toasted sesame oil.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bag pre-cut broccoli florets (or two small heads of broccoli cut at the florets)
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 3-4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bundle of stir fry rice noodles

To start, dice the chicken breasts into smaller bite size pieces. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add in oil and minced garlic. Add the chicken to the pan and begin to cook until all pieces are fully white, they are more than likely not cooked through but the chicken will cook as you layer in the sauce and broccoli. Add the broccoli and the sauces (coconut aminos, rice wine, and sesame oil). I would also add that you can lessen or increase the amount of each sauce as you desire. I also added a sprinkle of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes for good measure and a nice kick! Cover and let sit for a few minutes until broccoli becomes soft, and stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, Boil 4-5 quarts of water. Add in the stir fry noodles and turn off the heat. Let the noodles soak for 8-10 minutes and add them to the chicken and broccoli. The sauce will start off thin, but as the noodles are added and stirred, the noodles will absorb the sauce so feel free to add a bit more of rice wine vinegar or even 1/4 cup water if you desire. I promise frontloading the 3-4 tbsp of all of the liquids will be just enough.

The results are a lighter, healthier, and umami-satisfying version of the OG Chicken and Broccoli from your local take-out. NOMaste 🙂

Paleo Chicken Francaise

We’re rounding out week two at the new casa and I am really digging my new appliances, countertops, and all the natural lighting. Grateful is an understatement, I am so thankful for this home and the memories we’re making here, and the delicious meals I am starting to create. My husband loves chicken francaise, and I happen to be a fan of it as well. I thought about making this a little lighter with cassava flour instead of regular flour, and be mindful of the quality of ingredients I use for the butter/garlic sauce. I’ve been chatting with a girlfriend about the quality of ingredients versus restricting foods altogether. At the end of the day, we make choices with our mouths and forks at least three times a day, so it is vital to know what we consume and where the food comes from.

I started with buying organic chicken breasts, slicing them very thin, and seasoning with a generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper and pink sea salt. Then, using my cassava flour (with a blend of dried parsley, basil, and oregano) I coated each piece and set aside. I love using cassava for cooking because it does not have a taste, and is a 1:1 for all-purpose (or AP) flour. I set the chicken aside and heated up a large skillet.

I used Lucini Italia extra virgin olive oil and it is so delicious and actually Whole30 approved (I don’t follow Whole30 but it’s a good brand of EVOO so I decided to try and will certainly buy again). I added in chicken in batches (I made six cutlets in total) and let them cook until both sides were lightly browned.

Once all the chicken finished cooking, I placed them on a plate and began simmering my sauce. Traditionally, this sauce involves four ingredients: butter, garlic, white cooking wine, and lemon. I added my stick of unsalted butter (leave out to get to room temp!). Once melted, I added sliced lemon to let the citrus blend with the butter. I used 1/4 cup of cooking white wine and a scant amount of chicken stock to add more liquid, Last, I chopped three cloves of garlic and threw into the pan and turned the flame to low. Layer in the cooked chicken cutlets and let sit for a while (maybe 20m) so that the chicken starts to absorb the sauce.

Pair this dish with some pasta (I prefer Banza because I can’t really stomach regular pasta anymore…sad, I know) and fresh veggies; you’ve got yourself a yummy, HEALTHY, and satisfying meal!

Chicken Alfredo

If there’s one thing to know about me, it is that I am not much of a sauce person. I’m not one to order a pasta in a marinara sauce, or make a sauce (although I have a killer red sauce, or gravy, that I should make sometime soon). However, I am a lover of all things cream. I use cream in my coffee in the morning, and if I can make a sauce that incorporates cream (such as a tomato cream sauce) I’ll do it. I figured it was finally time I tried an alfredo sauce.

Alfredo, after speaking with a few colleagues today, is not high on the “Oooh, that’s what I’m craving” list. It tends to be very heavy and laden with sugar and additives. Unfortunately, for things to live on shelves, additives and artificial ingredients are required. What I love about cooking and creating is using fresh ingredients and quality brands. I’ll say time and time again, quality is what matters. I’d rather spend my whole paycheck on items that make me feel good, and brands that stand by their product every single time. To make this alfredo, I used fresh parmesan that I grated (by hand), grass-fed butter, grass-fed cream, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. I also added in garlic powder. Simple and quality ingredients to make one decadent and rich (and surprisingly not heavy) sauce.

Let’s talk about the chicken. I took organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cut them into smaller chunks. I seasoned with paprika, turmeric (hello anti-inflammatory benefits), sea salt, and garlic powder (I <3 garlic). I let the chicken sit for a while to marinade in the seasoning. The chicken turned a gorgeous golden color as it sat in the spices.

I heated a pan and added olive oil. Layering the chicken into the pan, I set the heat to medium and seared the chicken for several minutes on each side, then quickly tossed each piece around until each piece turned less pink. I poured in chicken bone broth (I love Kettle and Fire) and turned the heat to low. A while ago I purchased these chopped basil cubes by Dorot, and I wanted to use them up so I tossed two of them into the chicken as well. I covered the chicken and let simmer for 35-40 minutes on a low flame, stirring and turning the chicken to be sure it does not stick.

Once the chicken was done cooking, and the alfredo sauce finished thickening, I made the Banza pasta and tossed it altogether in a bowl. I cracked fresh pepper and dried rosemary on top to garnish (even though I should get comfortable using parsley or other garnishes) and it was so delicious. I’m quite proud of how far I’ve come with cooking, and hope you are able to enjoy this meal with family and friends, just like I did! NOMaste.

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