The Best Chicken Breast Recipes for Spring
Ah, spring is here! Our chickens love spring - everything is blooming, and there are plenty of critters coming out of winter hibernation for them to forage on. Spring is a great time on the farm, too. The air is fresh and the temperatures are perfect. Perfect temperatures and longer days make for a great season for cookouts and get-togethers with family and friends.
Spring get-togethers are a great excuse to experiment with new recipes, too. While winter is the perfect time for comfort food and warm spiced dishes, spring seems to call for light and fresh recipes, especially those that incorporate some seasonal spring vegetables as well. We have a whole bunch of pasture raised chicken breast recipes that we love to break out in spring, and we like to focus on easy-to-prepare, quick, and healthy meals, because when the weather is so beautiful, who wants to be stuck inside cooking?! Here are a few of our favorite quick and healthy pasture raised chicken breast recipes for spring:
One Pan Chicken and Asparagus
This recipe from TastesLovely.com incorporates seasonally fresh asparagus and lemons, is ready in under 30 minutes, and is an easy one-pan meal (less dishes / more outside playtime is a win-win!) The final product is simple and delicious, with a vibrant green presentation that screams spring, thanks to the asparagus.
You may wonder why we incorporate seasonal produce into our pasture raised chicken recipes. In this day and age when transportation logistics make it possible to obtain pretty much any food year-round, why do we focus on seasonal produce?
Well, for starters, we like to support local farms, and the farms near us grow what’s in season in California. Seasonal produce is more nutrient dense, and requires less post-harvest treatments such as ripening agents. Also, much like our pasture raised chicken, produce that has been allowed to grow and ripen in line with its natural growing rhythms just tastes better! Not to mention, buying fruits and vegetables in season means that they likely have been grown in abundance, and will be less expensive than out of season produce.
So, grab yourself some Pasturebird chicken breasts, fresh spring asparagus and lemons, and let’s get cooking! You can read step by step instructions and ingredient ratios in the original article, but here’s the gist:
- Grab your favorite large skillet, and brown the chicken breasts on each side until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (using a meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking chicken safely, and also keeps it from being overcooked).
- Set the chicken aside and add onions, asparagus, and garlic to the skillet, seasoning with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. When the asparagus is bright green (keep an eye on this so you don’t overcook it - overcooked asparagus is pretty gross), add the chicken stock and lemon juice mixture to make the delicious sauce. Add everything to the skillet and allow the chicken and veggies to warm while the sauce thickens.
- Add some lemon slices for garnish, and serve warm for a fresh and tasty, in-season paleo meal!
Pasture Raised Chicken and Spring Vegetable Soup
You may consider soup more of a cold-weather food, but this light and nourishing chicken and spring vegetable soup is perfect any time of year, especially spring when the vegetables it incorporates are at their finest. We were inspired by a recipe from everydaywelcome.com, and we make it paleo by using ghee instead of butter, and boost the nutrient density by using bone broth (from pasture raised chicken bones, of course!) in place of regular chicken broth.
This soup is so quick and easy to make it’s hard to believe how healthy it is! You can follow the recipe and brown the chicken breasts in the stock pot, or you can even cook the breasts ahead of time in the oven or slow cooker if you’re meal prepping for the week. Then just cube or shred the amount of chicken this recipe calls for, and save the rest for other meals.
If you’re wondering what the heck “herbs de Provence'' are, don’t worry - this herb blend is easily found in any grocery store, and isn’t nearly as fancy as it sounds, though it does add unparalleled flavor to savory food. The blend originated in (you guessed it) the Provence region of France, and generally includes a combination of thyme, rosemary, savory, marjoram, and oregano. As an added bonus to the flavor of this herbal blend, this particular combination of herbs has several health benefits as well. Thyme is rich in vitamin C, and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Both oregano and rosemary are purported to have similar health benefits, as well as strong antioxidant properties. While the amounts used in cooking aren’t as potent as those for medicinal use, you can never go wrong incorporating herbs into your diet, and you’ll reap both the flavor and health benefits of adding them to your cooking.
Lemony Chicken Salad On Arugula
If you meal prepped some extra chicken breasts when making your spring vegetable and chicken soup, now is a great time to use them! Chicken salad is a great on the go meal, can be made ahead of time, and keeps well for a few days so it’s perfect for weekly meal prep. Chicken salad is pretty versatile and can be modified for every season, but we particularly love the tangy taste of lemon in the springtime.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 1 pound of cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded
- ½ cup paleo-friendly mayonnaise
- the zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
Start by mixing the mayonnaise and chicken until combined, then sprinkle in the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Serve on a bed of arugula tossed with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of olive oil. Chicken salad is one of those meals that is pretty difficult to mess up, so feel free to make this recipe your own and throw in some other ingredients. Chopped walnuts or pecans add a nice crunch, and once you’ve plated the chicken salad on top of the arugula, some fresh spring scallions add a nice zip.
If you have some favorite springtime chicken breast recipes of your own, we’d love to hear them! Feel free to share in the comments.