chicken

Is Chicken Paleo?

Chicken meal photo

Ah, those chicken wings—as a staple of the American diet, you can find them nearly everywhere: from restaurants to family get-togethers to big-game Sundays, but is chicken paleo? Health-conscious people are eager to tout the goodness of chicken as an alternative to red meat and as a delicious source of protein. But is chicken really all that nutritious, or does it have toxins that should make Paleo dieters wary?

Chickens are raised in a variety of ways throughout the country, with the most common suppliers of chicken growing grain-fed farmed birds in large quantities. These chickens are raised quickly on a predetermined diet and health plan that includes medications and little exercise. Other sources of chicken give the bird free range and allow them to scavenge, feeding themselves on bugs and whatever else they can find. These birds are markedly different from the chickens produced by large companies, and all of this difference can make it difficult to decide if chicken really should be a Paleo choice.

So, is it Paleo?

Chicken meat varies greatly in its nutritional profile depending on what sort of chicken you’re eating. Toxins abound in non-pastured chicken meat; these chickens were raised on a diet of grain and were given antibiotics to keep them healthy because of the insufficiency of their diets. Needless to say, eating an antibiotic-laced chicken will have some negative consequences for you, too. In fact, this study explores how arsenic is used to help chickens to grow quickly. Arsenic is that mineral used to make glass and wood preservatives. And if the chickens are getting arsenic, you probably are too.

On the other hand, chickens raised in pastured farms are rich in vitamin E and folic acid, which helps to prevent anemia and increases the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients. Chickens that are not on a grain-based diet also have a much healthier omega-3/omega-6 ratio, which enables our bodies to process these fatty acids much more efficiently—the way nature intended. Many pastured chickens are antibiotic-free and will be labeled as such.

Because chicken seems to be a nutritious option if it’s bought from the right source, Paleo experts agree that chicken is a great part of a Paleo diet. Despite its nutrition benefits and versatile uses in all sorts of recipes, experts do caution that chicken is only a great option if it is not grain-fed and if it is antibiotic-free. Go with pastured or organic if possible, and if not, at least aim for meat with as little fat as possible.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “Breeding, feeding and other poultry farming standards result in animals that scarcely resemble each other, let alone taste the same. [Pastured] is the label I suggest looking for, but don’t be surprised if the search presents a challenge. If conventional is all you can afford or have access to it’s better than no meat at all. Just eat the leaner cuts, since toxins concentrate in fat.”

Sarah Ballantyne says: “[If you have to buy conventional instead of organic or pastured], limit consumption of chicken and other poultry, which probably has the highest omega-6 fatty acid content of any of the conventionally produced meat and poultry.”

So Is Chicken Paleo?

Yes!

Because of its great nutritional value and very few toxins, Paleo experts agree that chicken is a great addition to the Paleo plate. Be cautious, however, of what sort of chicken you buy; if you cannot afford or find pastured or organic chicken, choose the meat with the least amount of fat and limit your intake, as conventional chicken does come from birds that have been medicated.

Issue No. 29

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Transforming dinner into restaurant-quality seems like a challenge and hassle, yet reading coconut curry chicken soup seems more like a task than a dish. However, a creating a restaurant-quality meal does not have to be an impending doom, this slow-cooker recipe offers all the quality without the worry.

The coconut milk makes the soup creamy with a smooth texture. This Coconut Curry Chicken Soup provides a warmth needed for the impending Fall/Winter season. Whether a cold day has you stuck indoors or a family get together is upon the horizon, soup is the automatic necessity for a blistery day.

When it comes to recipes, finding a decent homemade soup usually tends to be only chicken noodle based broths. However, adding a traditional spice with a creamy texture can add a hint of adventure to a healthy meal. This main paleo dish will upgrade the old school chicken noodle into something exciting!

Print Recipe
Coconut Curry Chicken Soup
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 28 Minutes
Cook Time 3 1/2 Hours
Servings
People
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 28 Minutes
Cook Time 3 1/2 Hours
Servings
People
Instructions
  1. Saute the chicken in the coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. When the outside of the chicken has all turned white, add in the coconut milk and the chicken broth and mix well.
  3. Add onions then cook for 3 minutes more.
  4. Add in the carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
  5. Add in the ginger, curry powder, and cornstarch.
  6. Add garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice.
  7. Cook on medium for about 3 hours in your slow cooker.
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Sweet Curry Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Roasted chicken is an easy go-to for those dinners where I am stretched for time. This is a “twist” on the traditional roasted chicken recipe.

Using one of my favorite ingredients, curry, this dish is sure to please and smells delicious! The mustard and honey makes the curry a great, sweet flavor.

Traditional curries usually have white potatoes as an addition to the meat. I “paleoized” the ingredient and added one root vegetable – carrots, and of course, cauliflower. The sweet curry becomes a glaze with the carrots and are delicious with the sweet curry sauce.  I love the cauliflower instead of the traditional rice that is served with curry dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
  • 6 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and roast 1 hour in the preheated oven (oven times vary – make sure to check the chicken).
  3. In a saucepan, heat to medium and melt the butter
  4. Mix the honey, mustard, onion, curry powder, salt, cayenne pepper, ginger, and garlic.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  7. Gently pour the curry and honey mixture over the chicken. Continue roasting about 20 minutes, or until the glaze has browned. The chicken meat should reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).
  8. Place carrots and cauliflower in a separate roasting pan.
  9. Drizzle and roast the vegetables with the chicken for the last 20 minutes, or until the glaze has browned.
Print Recipe
Sweet Curry Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
Curry Whole Chicken and Veggies
Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Curry Whole Chicken and Veggies
Recipe Notes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and roast 1 hour in the preheated oven (oven times vary – make sure to check the chicken for doneness).
  3. In a saucepan, heat to medium and melt the butter
  4. Mix the honey, mustard, onion, curry powder, salt, cayenne pepper, ginger, and garlic.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  7. Gently pour the curry and honey mixture over the chicken. Continue roasting about 20 minutes, or until the glaze has browned. The chicken meat should reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).
  8. Place carrots and cauliflower in a separate roasting pan.
  9. Drizzle and roast the vegetables with the chicken for the last 20 minutes, or until the glaze has browned.
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