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Top 5 Chicken Recipes for Summer

Top 5 Chicken Recipes for Summer

It’s hard to believe that summer is already halfway over. It seems like not that long ago we were writing a blog post on the best chicken recipes for Fall! 

Summer is one of our favorite seasons for outdoor cooking. Even in California, where weather is temperate most of the year, there’s just something about the warm temperatures and summer breezes in this season that inspire us. So, in this post we’re featuring 5 recipes that are perfect for Summer, and they will definitely include some recipes for cooking pasture raised chicken on the grill!

Our criteria for summer chicken recipes is pretty simple:

  1. Healthy ingredients - people define “healthy” in different ways, but to us, healthy means that the meal is paleo-friendly, nutrient dense, and made with wholesome ingredients.

  1. Pasture raised - it probably comes as no surprise that our biggest criteria for summer chicken recipes is that they include pasture raised chicken. Aside from the obvious reason that pasture raised chicken is quite literally at our fingertips, pasture raised chicken is also the healthier option, since it’s lower in saturated fat, higher in vitamins and minerals, and higher in omega 3s.

  • Incorporates seasonal produce - while chicken is the star of the show in these recipes, we also like to incorporate fresh seasonal produce, either as side dishes or as part of the main meal. In California, seasonal Summer produce means incorporating produce such as:
    • Avocados
    • Basil 
    • Collard greens
    • Okra
    • Spinach
    • Zucchini and Summer Squash
    • Tomatoes 
    • Peaches 

    Recipe #1: Peach Glazed Chicken

    Not only is this meal easy and healthy, but you only need one pan to make it, so clean-up is also a breeze. Our inspiration came from this recipe by The Seasoned Mom, and we tweaked it a bit to fit our paleo lifestyle. The original recipe is pretty healthy though, so we really only had to substitute coconut sugar for the brown sugar called for in the recipe to make it more paleo friendly.

    You’ll need the following ingredients:

    • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 ½ tablespoons olive or coconut oil, divided
    • ¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
    • ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (thyme works well in this recipe, too!)
    • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons paleo Dijon mustard
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 3 medium ripe peaches, pitted and chopped (peeling is optional) (about 2 cups total)
    • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

    Coat your favorite cooking pan with 1 tbsp of the oil, and season the chicken thighs on each side with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees - about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove it from the heat and keep warm. In the same pan, add another teaspoon of oil, the onion, and the rosemary. Cook until fragrant and beginning to soften, about a minute. Add the remaining ingredients along with a sprinkle or two of salt, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has caramelized. Add the chicken back to the pan and coat with the sauce. 

    Recipe #2: Paleo Pesto Chicken and Zucchini Noodles 

    Paleo Running Momma’s blog has a lot of fantastic paleo recipes, and the one that inspired this meal is no exception. To begin, prepare the paleo pesto as follow:

    • 1 cup raw shelled walnuts
    • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
    • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
    • 4 cloves garlic (or more to taste, we always add more garlic to recipes)
    • 2/3 cup light flavored olive oil
    • 3/4 tsp salt you can adjust to your taste
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

    Blend all ingredients until pureed and use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week. 

    Next, take a pound and a half of pasture raised chicken breasts, thinly slice them, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and onion powder, and cook in a lightly oiled skillet until done. The original recipe serves the pesto chicken with spaghetti squash, but since zucchini is so plentiful in the summer, we make our version with zucchini noodles instead. Using a spiralizer, spiralize your zucchini and then sprinkle it with salt and let it sit for awhile to drain excess liquid. 

    Combine the chicken, zucchini noodles, and a cup of the pesto, and bake for 10-15 minutes until warm and fragrant. 

    Recipe #3: Paleo Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

    This recipe from Real Food with Jessica puts a savory and delicious spin on grilled chicken, and is perfect for summer, served with fresh seasonal grilled veggies or collard greens (we love this easy Instant Pot recipe for collard greens.)

    You’ll need:

    • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
    • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1.5-2 pounds chicken

    Combine all ingredients except for the chicken in a small bowl and stir well. The sauce should be smooth when fully combined. You’ll use this to marinate the chicken - we suggest marinating for at least an hour prior to grilling. You can keep the chicken at room temperature if only marinating an hour - any longer, and it should be covered and put in the fridge (but brought back to room temperature prior to grilling.)

    Grill over medium/high heat for 4-5 minutes per side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° (I know we sound like a broken record, but this is very important.) Discard any extra marinade.

    Recipe #4: Paleo Fried Chicken

    This recipe is, in a word, YUMMY. There are few things that were hard to give up when we adopted a paleo diet, but fried chicken was definitely one of them! This recipe brings that favorite comfort food back in a healthy, paleo-friendly way. It’s amazing served with the collard greens recipe we linked above, and mashed sweet potatoes for a delicious, summery, comfort food meal. 

    To serve 4, you’ll need:

    • 4 pasture raised chicken breasts
    • 1 egg, whisked
    • ¼ cup coconut milk
    • ⅔ cup almond flour
    • ⅔ cup tapioca flour
    • 1 tsp ground pepper
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • ½ tsp sea salt
    • ⅓ cup ghee, or butter

    The recipe doesn’t call for it, but we love adding a few sprinkles of Old Bay seasoning or smoked paprika to give the chicken a bit of a kick. Tenderize the chicken to ¼ inch thickness and dredge it in a shallow bowl containing the whisked egg and coconut milk. In a second bowl, you’ll combine your almond flour, tapioca flour, pepper, garlic powder, salt, and Old Bay/paprika, if using. 

    After you’ve dredged each pieces of chicken in the egg mixture, place it in the flour mixture and top with the mixture until the chicken is fully coated. Melt butter or ghee in a large skillet, and place the chicken breasts in the butter and “fry” until fully cooked, about 5 minutes per side. 

    Recipe #5: Greek Grilled Avocado Chicken Burgers

    This one is so easy you don’t even need a recipe! Instead of using ground chicken, you can cook a pound of pasture raised chicken breasts and shred them in a food processor. Then, combine with a finely chopped avocado, 2 cloves of minced garlic, greek seasoning (Penzey’s has a great one), ⅓ cup of almond meal, ½ cup of paleo mayonnaise (or more as needed to help the burgers stick together, but not so much that it turns into chicken salad!) and salt and pepper to taste. 

    Grill until fully cooked, and enjoy! These are great served with a hearty salad and grilled fruit for dessert. 

    Let us know if you try any of these Top 5 Chicken Recipes for Summer, and feel free to share your own favorite summertime pasture raised chicken recipes in the comments!

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