Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Broccoli Legs & Chicken Thighs

Before discovering Paleo, I never used to eat the dark meat of chicken.  I recently received a cast iron skillet from Tonja as a gift (my very first one!) and I was determined to come up with a killer recipe for my first stovetop-to-oven meal.  Now don't judge me when I tell you that even though I have ventured out to eating all of the parts of a chicken...I still tend to prefer boneless, skinless, organic chicken breast. It is just my preference! But I know that if I just prepared chicken thighs the right way I would love them and all their juiciness! This was my first time purchasing organic chicken thighs!!  (I used boneless and skinless because that was all they had...I KNOW it would taste even better if it had the skin intact, so feel free to use that!)

I have seen plenty of people post cast iron chicken recipes using potatoes.  Although I do eat potatoes in moderation, especially on very active days...I had a different idea for this skillet.  (It makes it 21dsd approved too!) Whenever I buy broccoli I try to find the ones with the healthiest, longest "legs" :)  I love the way they taste sautéed with some coconut aminos, steamed and topped with ghee, or added into a breakfast omelette!  For this recipe... you will be using just the "legs" of the broccoli and you can save the bushy tops for another dish!  You will see that these parts of the stalk of broccoli will soak up LOTS of flavor and take on a "potato-ish" type consistency!

Broccoli Legs & Chicken Thighs:

2c chopped broccoli stalks (legs) :) 
1 whole yellow onion
2.5lbs chicken thighs
2 lemons
3T EVOO (high quality extra virgin olive oil)
3 cloves garlic
2T rosemary
2tsp salt
1tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 425.

In a food processor, add the juice of both lemons (save the halves for later!), EVOO, rosemary, cayenne, salt and garlic.  Pulse until smooth.  Add to a bowl with the chicken thighs and make sure to coat each piece.

Chop the onion into 1" size chunks and Cut the broccoli stalks into slices 1/2"-1" thick. Make sure to omit the bottom 1/2" of the stalk as it tends to be a bit tough on the outside. Add to a boiling pot of water and cook until just soft (about 5 minutes).  Drain and set aside.

Heat up a 12" cast iron skillet to high and add your fat of choice ( I used 1T rendered duck fat).  Sear the chicken on both sides (if your chicken thighs have skin, this is where you will want to crisp it up!).  Once the chicken is seared on both sides (but not cooked through) turn off the heat.  Add the veggies and dump the remaining sauce from the chicken bowl over the skillet.  Place the 4 lemon halves face up throughout the skillet (push them down so they are surrounded by meat and veggies).

Finish in the oven for 20-25 minutes! Be very careful when taking the cast iron skillet out since it will be heavy and VERY hot!

Don't be afraid to recycle this meal in leftovers throughout the week! See what I did with my leftovers in these photos! 

This is a remixed version of the chicken thighs chopped, re-heated on the stovetop in the skillet, added to zucchini noodles and topped with a fried egg.
This was a simple lunch that I ate cold (yes, I LOVE cold leftovers!) with 1/2 an avocado!  

Can you think of any other ways to recycle your leftovers from this dish?? -Clare