The Top Five Chicken Recipes for Winter
We’re all about seasonal cooking around here. As farmers and proponents of supporting other local farms, we try to purchase local and seasonal produce whenever possible. Living in California, this is a lot easier than if we were living in say, Minnesota, where the winter temperatures make vegetable gardening pretty tough! So we’re all about taking advantage of our location and enjoying fresh, seasonal, local produce with our pasture raised chicken recipes.
Winters in California bring an abundance of fresh leafy greens, which lend themselves well in so many different recipes. Onions, garlic, and leeks also grow easily in a California winter. And of course, there’s always the noble root vegetable! In this post, we’ll give you some recipe inspiration that incorporates some of these seasonal favorites alongside delicious pasture raised chicken.
Creamy Chicken and Leeks
We were inspired by this recipe from sundaysuppermovement.com, but as usual, we put our own paleo spin on it!
Leeks are a milder, sweeter relative of the onion that give recipes a savory and complex flavor without being overpowering. Although the original recipe isn’t paleo, it’s easy to modify it to become a delicious paleo recipe! Simply replace the 2 tbsp of flour with arrowroot flour, and replace the milk with coconut milk. While the recipe also calls for sour cream, you can omit the dairy laden sour cream in favor of a bit more coconut milk or coconut cream. If you have the time, you can also make this easy paleo sour cream using coconut cream, lemon juice, and sea salt.
Make sure you follow the recipe’s instructions about moving the leeks around during sautéing so they don’t burn. Burned leeks taste bitter and not very good! As always, we recommend using bone broth in place of the chicken stock for both the added flavor intensity as well as the added health benefits of the amino acids and collagen that come naturally with bone broths.
This particular recipe calls for chicken breasts, but we think chicken thighs make this recipe even more delicious. We love using chicken thighs in super savory recipes like this because they add a unique richness and complex flavor to the dish.
Sheet Pan Tuscan Chicken and Kale
This recipe is perfect for those evenings when you need a quick and easy yet still nourishing and healthy meal.
While the recipe calls for Yukon potatoes, you can easily make this recipe paleo by using sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes. You’ll start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F and adding the chicken and seasoned potatoes to a baking sheet. Keep the kale off to the side of the baking dish for now since kale takes hardly any time to cook. You will add it after the chicken and sweet potatoes finish baking. Bake the chicken and potatoes for 35-45 minutes or until fully cooked through, and massage the kale in the leftover potato oil and spices while the chicken and potatoes cook. Add the massaged kale to the pan once the chicken is done cooking, and cook for another ten minutes. Or just long enough for the kale to wilt and soften. Top with some lemon juice and serve. We love this recipe because it's SUPER easy and incredibly delicious. Plus, it features lacinato kale, which is another nutritious and yummy winter seasonal vegetable.
Paleo Salsa Chicken Chili
It may sound weird to include salsa in what is essentially a chicken soup, but the salsa gives this dish so much flavor! Not to mention, anything with the word “chili” in the title is perfect for winter, if you ask me.
This soup is so nourishing, comforting, and has just the slightest kick to really warm you up. There’s just enough heat to keep it interesting, but not so much that my kids won’t eat it, and they won’t touch anything “spicy”. We love this recipe from whole30.com because it’s pretty quick and easy, and cooks in the instant pot in less than 30 minutes. If you want to add a bit more substance to the soup, we recommend some cauliflower rice in the bowl, and a few avocado slices on top. We also love to add a few squeezes of lime to each bowl prior to serving for that fresh zing and added vitamin C.
Winter Kale Salad (with chicken, of course!)
We typically like to make this one up as we go along. This meal incorporates lacinato kale, because it’s plentiful in the winter and absolutely delicious, but other than that you can really make it your own. We recommend chopping the kale into bite sized pieces and massaging it with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. What you add next is really up to you! Some of our favorites are cubed roasted sweet potatoes, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, dried cranberries (make sure they don’t have any added sugar), nutritional yeast, and a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Of course, we top this salad with shredded pasture raised chicken, which can be made ahead and used in a variety of different recipes. Pre-cooking and shredding chicken is one of our favorite ways to meal prep, because it’s so easy and we can incorporate it into several recipes throughout the week depending on what we feel like cooking that day.
Paleo Chicken and Vegetable Soup
This paleo chicken and vegetable soup recipe incorporates lots of seasonal winter veggies such as kale, carrots, turnips, and parsnips, along with immune boosting garlic and chicken bone broth. As usual, we like to substitute chicken bone broth for its added flavor and health benefits. The combination of turmeric and black pepper as part of the seasonings also gives this soup an extra anti-inflammatory boost, which is always a plus especially in the winter months when our immune systems need all the help they can get! The nourishing veggies, spices, and pasture raised chicken in this soup make it a perfect option for a warm and cozy winter meal.
We hope you’ll enjoy these top five chicken recipes for winter, incorporating pasture raised chicken and delicious seasonal vegetables. We love warming foods in Winter especially. Chicken is traditionally known to be a warming food when paired with the right ingredients. Plus, it's been proven to help activate neutrophil mobility during a season when our bodies need it the most. We chose to focus on mainly paleo recipes so you can continue to eat a diet rich in nutrients and low in overly processed foods which can leave you feeling ill. When you first embark on a paleo diet it can seem a little overwhelming and you may wonder how many of your favorite foods you’ll need to give up. We hope that by featuring lots of different paleo recipes, including recipes that we modify ourselves from the originals to be paleo friendly, you’ll realize that almost all of your favorite foods can be made with a paleo spin. You don’t need to give up the meals you enjoy to live a healthier life!