Fall Favorites: These Nourishing Chicken Recipes are the Best
If you’re a longtime reader of the Pasturebird blog, you know that we loooove to throw out some recipe inspiration from time to time, especially seasonal recipes!
Since fall is so recently upon us, it’s the perfect time of year to share some nourishing fall-inspired recipes incorporating pasture raised chicken. When we think of fall recipes we think savory spices, nourishing soups, and recipes incorporating seasonal produce like sweet potatoes, root vegetables, squashes, and greens.
Why is Eating Seasonally Important?
You may wonder why we put such emphasis on seasonal produce in our recipe posts, especially because with today’s ability to transport food from anywhere in the world, isn’t all produce in season somewhere?? While that might be true, when produce is picked for shipping far distances, it’s usually picked before it’s ripe, and either left to ripen during transit or sprayed with ethylene gas to help it ripen once it reaches its destination.
Furthermore, produce starts to lose nutrients as quickly as 24 hours after picking. Since most shipped produce is in transit for at least a couple of weeks, the final product you obtain isn’t nearly as nutritious as seasonal produce obtained locally - which is usually picked just a day or two before it’s sold. Finally and most importantly - at least from a cooking perspective - fresh, seasonal, locally-grown produce just tastes better. And what better to pair with our fresh, delicious pasture raised chicken than nutritious seasonal veggies?
Autumn Harvest Chicken Stew
Our favorite fall recipes are nourishing and comforting. Temperatures are getting chillier, the air is getting crisper, and we naturally want to hunker down and get cozy.
What’s more nourishing than a hearty pot of soup or stew? We love this autumn harvest chicken stew recipe from Raising Generation Nourished. It incorporates seasonal fall veggies such as acorn squash, spinach, onions, and carrots, along with bone broth and shredded chicken. It also incorporates “friendly fat” which is a huge plus in our book. Often, our society places too much of an emphasis on low calorie or fat free recipes, but over the years we’ve learned how important it is to incorporate healthy fats into a wholesome diet, so we get pretty excited when we find a recipe that agrees with this philosophy.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this stew:
2 acorn squash
1/3 cup friendly fat to cook in butter, lard, or coconut oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 medium Russet potatoes, chopped - if you follow a strict paleo diet that doesn’t include regular potatoes, sweet potatoes would work here too
1 head of garlic minced (about 8ish cloves or so)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 quarts chicken bone broth
2 cups cooked shredded or chunked pasture raised chicken
1/4 to 1/2 pound fresh organic baby spinach - chopped lacinato kale is another option
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, if you like a bit of spice
Sea salt/pepper to taste
Before cooking the soup, you’ll cook the acorn squash in the oven for about an hour. The recipe calls for cooking these whole, but make sure to pierce them with a fork or knife to allow the steam to escape. Begin chopping the other ingredients while the squash cooks, and then cut them in half and let them cool while assembling the other ingredients.
Using a heavy-bottomed soup pot, sautee the butter, lard, or coconut oil (note that we said OR - we love healthy fats, but you don’t need all 3!) and then add the onion, celery, carrot, and potatoes and saute for about 10 minutes until they begin to soften. Sprinkle liberally with salt while cooking.
While you’re waiting for the veggies to cook, you can puree the squash in your blender - add a bit of the bone broth or a splash of water to assist in this process. Once the veggies have softened, add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Next, you’ll add the tapioca flour to help thicken the stew. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the pureed squash, bone broth, chicken, and spices, and simmer for a few minutes until all ingredients have warmed up. Last but not least, add the spinach or kale, allow to wilt, and season with salt and pepper.
This stew is so simple but so flavorful, and the combination of bone broth, pasture raised chicken, and vitamin-packed seasonal veggies make for such a nourishing and comforting meal.
Autumn Chicken Dinner with Roasted Vegetables
With a little bit of prep work, this flavorful and colorful autumn-inspired dinner is the perfect meal for a cozy fall evening. While the original recipe calls for cheese tortellini as well, you can make it paleo by omitting the tortellini altogether, or by incorporating a paleo-friendly pasta, or even cauliflower rice or potato in place of the pasta. Preparing and roasting the butternut squash and brussels sprouts in the oven takes a bit of time, but the final product is so worth it, and this meal is delicious left over, so it’s perfect for weekly meal prep. If you’re short on time, you can use frozen squash and brussels sprouts, but the fresh oven-roasted veggies really pack superior taste and a roasted flavor that just can't be beat.
3 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash, tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper
12 ounces brussels sprouts, quartered, tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper
Roast the butternut squash and brussels sprouts in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Thinly slice 1 pound of Pasturebird chicken thighs, and season liberally with 1 tsp smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook in a heavy bottomed skillet (we love cast iron) seasoned with olive oil until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees fahrenheit. While the chicken is cooking, prepare tortellini or paleo pasta according to package instructions, if using.
Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it and add 3 tbsp butter and approximately 5 cloves of garlic to the skillet to make the garlic butter sauce. When garlic is fragrant and beginning to soften, add chicken back into the skillet and stir to coat. Add roasted veggies, cooked pasta (or pasta alternative), stir everything together, and season with salt and pepper.
Trust us, this is YUMMY and a definite crowd pleaser!
Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry
This amazing recipe from The Modern Proper lets you “set it and forget it” so you can get outside and enjoy some of that spectacular fall weather while this delicious and nourishing meal cooks in the slow cooker. Incorporating seasonal pumpkin (fresh or canned, depending on how ambitious you are), pasture raised chicken, peppers, spinach, and a variety of mouth-watering spices, this dish is warming, comforting, and super flavorful.
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, shaken
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (sub coconut sugar for paleo)
1 ½ to 2 pounds sugar pie pumpkin, pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 4 cups) or 2 (14-ounce) cans pumpkin puree
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 cups loosely packed baby spinach
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
Combine coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, and coconut or brown sugar in the pot of your slow cooker. Submerge chicken and pumpkin completely in the sauce (if using canned pumpkin, stir it with the other liquids until combined and then add the chicken). Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours. Once the cook time is completed, transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred. If you used fresh pumpkin, you’ll want to use an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin; this won’t be necessary for canned pumpkin.
Return the chicken to the slow cooker pot and add the bell peppers before cooking on high for another 30 mins or so. Wilt the spinach, season with lime juice, and serve over cauliflower rice. There’s something about the combination of these flavors that blend so well together to create a perfect savory, nourishing meal.
Share your favorite nourishing fall chicken recipes in the comments!