The Paleo lifestyle is difficult to keep up sometimes, especially when you live in a house with people who do not follow any dietary restrictions. Because I am constantly cooking and preparing lunches for the week, I sometimes try to make my mom’s meals Paleo too!
I know a lot of Paleo sites tout the BAS (big ass salad), but I am not a salad person. Unless it’s 8 million degrees outside or it’s the only thing being served, salads never appeal to me and never leave me feeling satisfied. My mom, however, could eat salad every day of the week without complaint.
These are the salads I made for her in preparation for the coming week. Cucumbers and cherry tomatoes compliments of my garden! 🙂 So to add more protein to her lunchtime meals, I scaled down her salads to side dishes and added a chicken entrée. My mom is not a fussy eater, but this recipe is her absolute favorite and she rants and raves about how delicious it is! This delights me because not only is she cutting processed foods out by taking my lunch every day, but she is eating Paleo! Let’s get it going:
First, gather your ingredients: chicken thighs, olive oil, white cooking wine, Born to Hula Smokin’ Pineapple All Purpose Sauce, and chicken stock (not pictured). I discovered this sauce at the Belmar Seafood Festival and fell in love with its sweet, smoky, and spicy flavor! This company is amazing because the ingredients are all-natural and they do not use sugar or corn syrup in their sauces!
Leave the chicken thighs whole and pour some of the sauce over them to marinate. This recipe is very low maintenance because if you have fresh thighs, toss them in the fridge with the marinade for about an hour – OR – if you have some frozen thighs, like I usually do, I throw some marinade in the bag and let the chicken marinate in the fridge as it defrosts. You can really marinate this for as long or as short as you like, but I tend to believe at least an hour lets the flavors get into the meat.
After marinating for at least an hour, heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add your chicken piece by piece, ensuring it lays flat in the pan. What we are doing here is browning each side of the chicken. We don’t want it to overcook and be tough and nasty, so cook each side for about 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of your thighs.
Once you have browned both sides, add a little bit of the sauce to coat the chicken again. Raise the heat to high and add about 1/3-1/2 cup of chicken stock to the pan and cover. Let the chicken stock simmer and evaporate. Keep an eye on your pan to make sure the stock doesn’t evaporate completely and burn your chicken.
After about 10 minutes, uncover the chicken and let the rest of the stock cook off. By this point your chicken should be incredibly tender. Once the pan is dry, add a splash of white cooking wine to de-glaze the pan and make a nice sticky sauce that will coat the chicken. Cook until the wine has evaporated.
I usually shred the chicken a little bit to make it easier to eat. So there you have it. A wonderfully quick and easy Paleo-friendly lunch idea! Sneak it into your family’s lunchbox today and see how much they love it! Aloha!