This Whole30 eating experience hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Well at least so far. I’m only on day four, but I already feel like by pre-planning and prepping meals that are delicious and packed with nutrients, I’ve avoided the anxiety of eliminating certain foods from my diet. Instead of going out to eat, I’ve been inviting friends over (which is my favorite thing to do anyway) and making feasts of veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and quality meat for everyone to enjoy. I love all the colors an fall flavors I’ve been bringing to the table. This chicken dish is my favorite recipe creation of the month (maybe the last few months) and it is just pure, whole foods of the best quality and packed with fall flavors. The key is cooking it on low heat for a good chunk of time so the flavors really have time to come together. In case it hasn’t been apparent, I have a bit of an obsession with cardamom. I think it makes most things more delicious, especially in the fall and winter when a warming spice is really a welcome addition. That being said, if cardamom isn’t your cup of tea, you can make this recipe with less cardamom pods, or substitute more cinnamon and some fresh ginger. I ate this chicken with a side of baked sweet potatoes and a salad topped with pumpkin seeds to really cover all my bases of fall foods.
4 bone-in organic chicken thighs
3 Tbs. coconut oil or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 medium fuji apple, peeled
1 tsp. cinnmon
1 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
6 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup thompson or golden raisins
3/4 cup chicken broth (preferably home made)
Heat 1 tbs. oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Thinly slice onion and add to the pot. Stir well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium and let onions cook down for 10 minutes. Thinly slice peeled apple and stir into the onions along with the balsamic vinegar. The vinegar will help the caramelization process. Allow to cook down for another 3-4 minutes. Then remove the apples and onions from the pot. Add the remaining 2 tbs. of oil and brown chicken thighs, 3 minutes on each side. Also season each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the onions and apples back into the pot and stir in the rest of the spices. Stir in the raisins. Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and then turn the heat down to medium low, cover the pot and let cook 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to disperse spices. It’s hard to over cook a chicken thigh because they have a lot of moisture. If it starts to look like the apples and onions are sticking to the bottom of the pot, turn the heat down and add a splash more broth. If you have large pieces of chicken you might need more time. Use a small knife to cut into one of the thighs to make sure no part of the meat is translucent or stick in a meat thermometer to make sure the temperature of the meat is at least 165 F. Taste the apple, onion and raisin mixture surrounding the chicken to see if it needs more salt and season to taste.