The Best Chicken Recipes for January
In follow up to our New Year’s post about eating healthy in the new year, we thought we’d offer some recipe inspiration to help you do just that. One of the hardest parts about eating healthier can often be deciding what to cook! Having a wide range of go-to recipes to choose from when planning meals make sure that you can stay on track with your healthy eating, even when life gets busy.
These recipes are paleo-friendly and feature pasture raised chicken (of course). Best of all, we’ll keep it simple, because everybody deserves a bit of a breather after the hectic holidays, especially when it comes to cooking.
As always when cooking chicken, make sure to follow these safety instructions, and store any leftovers properly. Leftover chicken should be stored at 40 degrees F or less, and consumed within 3-4 days of cooking. Check out our chicken salad recipe below for a great way to use leftover pasture raised chicken!
Butternut Squash Chicken Curry
Butternut squash is incredibly healthy and adds delicious flavor to many recipes, but if you’re not used to cooking with it, it can be tough to come up with a recipe on the fly. It’s worth trying to incorporate more into your diet though, as butternut squash is low in calories, rich in vitamins and nutrients (such as vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and manganese), and is high in fiber. This recipe from The Natural Nurturer combines butternut squash, coconut milk, sweet potatoes and pasture raised chicken plus an incredible mix of spices that add so much flavor to this soup. We try to eat whole foods when possible, so while we used canned coconut milk as the original recipe instructed, we recommend pureeing your own butternut squash (either from fresh or frozen) rather than using puree from a can. Bonus points for this recipe, it can be made in your pressure cooker! (The original recipe, linked above, contains alternate cooking instructions if you prefer stovetop or slow cooker method).
1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
1 1/2 pounds chicken (raw), cut into bite-sized cubes
1 large sweet potato cut into bite sized pieces
1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (chilled so the cream rises to the top)
3 cloves garlic minced
the juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp coconut aminos
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
1/2 cup broth
If you’re using a pressure cooker, combine chicken, butternut squash puree, garlic, sweet potatoes, coconut aminos, curry powder, ginger, salt and broth to your pressure cooker. Stir to combine. Open the coconut milk and scoop out the cream. Set the cream aside and add the coconut water to the mixture in the Instant Pot. Stir again to combine.
Cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes and use the quick release function at the end. Remove the lid once the pressure is released, and stir in the coconut cream and lime juice. Use the saute function in your Instant Pot and saute for about 5 minutes to let the sauce simmer and thicken a bit. Serve over cauliflower rice.
Cast Iron Skillet Whole Roast Chicken
In keeping with our theme of simple yet delicious, we present to you the one pan dinner!
Not only does this meal keep it simple in terms of prep and dishes, but it’s a great way to meal prep and make your week a bit easier from the get-go. While we’re no stranger to cooking roast chickens, this recipe keeps it even simpler than we’re used to, by seasoning the chicken with salt (yes, just salt!) and then letting it rest from anywhere from 1 to 24 hours before drizzling with olive oil, a bit of cracked pepper, and sprinkling with a bit more salt. (We use himalayan sea salt, but any kind of high quality salt will do.) Hopefully it goes without saying that you should let your chicken rest in the refrigerator, but we’re saying it just in case.
4 to 4 ½ pound whole chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 russet potato very thinly sliced (no need to peel the skin)
½ sweet potato very thinly sliced (no need to peel the skin)
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
Before seasoning, pat the chicken dry inside and out with paper towels, and then generously season (again, inside and out) with salt.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and place your 12 inch cast iron skillet in the oven to get it nice and hot. Use a silicone pot holder and oven mitts to keep your fingers safe, cast iron gets really hot. Once you’re ready to cook the bird, place your sliced veggies in the bottom of a preheated cast iron skillet, drizzled generously on the bottom with olive oil. Add your potatoes, onion, and herbs, and place the chicken on top. The chicken should take about an hour to reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F, and then you’ll want to cover it with foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes so it’s nice and juicy.
Leftover Chicken Salad with Carrots and Raisins
This dish is so easy, you don’t even need a recipe. It’s a unique twist on chicken salad, and the carrots are a great way to add some extra nutrition.
Pulse 2 medium sized carrots (roughly chopped), 2 stalks of celery (roughly chopped), a quarter of a small onion, and leftover pasture raised chicken (about a breast and a half worth) in a food processor until finely chopped. Add paleo mayonnaise until your desired consistency, and season with salt and pepper. Once all ingredients have been mixed together, throw in about ¼ cup of raisins and stir to combine.
We love pairing this chicken dish with a salad of winter greens such as arugula, or with almond flour crackers for a light meal or hearty snack. It’s a great way to use leftovers and a healthier spin on the standard chicken salad recipe.