As some of you may know, I’ve been on my own for the last two weeks while my boyfriend (we live together) is out of town doing a work training. I’ve had the house to myself, and that has revealed a few things: 1) the house is scary at night 2) I have full-on, in depth conversations about the meaning of life with my cat. 3) I run out of food and have to get creative with my cooking. I was mostly able to improvise and come up with some random meals, but it got to the point yesterday where I was so out of food that I brought a jar of applesauce to work and proceeded to consume 3/4 of a jar of cinnamon applesauce as my breakfast. Needless to say, I got some weird looks from co-workers. I felt like blah at my workout that afternoon and Audrey gave me a lecture on how I know better about nutrition and fat/protein intake and how that hugely affects your performance, and I got a lot of eyebrow lifts as I described the nutrient devoid “food” I ate that day. She literally said “go buy an avocado and eat it. You need fat”, and with that, I dragged my nutrient-guilty butt down to Whole Foods for some basic stuff.
Along with my THEREE avocados (see! see that Audrey! fat! boom!), I stretched my dollar on good fat & protein intake by taking advantage of the “meaty discount” section at Whole Foods. Now, I’m not sure that’s actually what it’s called, but the discount section at Whole Foods is still like, 1000 times better for you than most grocery stores, and it’s “party packs” and things like that.
So, for a grand total of $4.80, I bought 8 beautiful, fatty, skin-on chicken drumsticks. They were cheapy and wonderful (compared to my $3.89 guilty pleasure chia kombucha) and have a good amount of nutrient value for your dollar.
Since I didn’t have a recipe, I knew just where to turn to find how to cook these beautiful chicken legs: PRACTICAL PALEO, of course, what did you think I was gonna say?! What I love about this book is the fact that Diane has so many recipes that are so simple, you have most of the ingredients in your house. She plays with flavors by mixing up spices and shows how different you can make something taste with an array of different spices. In Practical Paleo, there is a whole two-page spread of different spice blends you can use. This time I chose to use the “Indian Spice Blend” for my drumsticks, and I was not disappointed!
Indian Spice Blend (I did this half recipe because I only used 4 drumsticks, it would be twice the amount for a full recipe) 1 Tbsp onion powder 1 Tsp garam masala (I make Chicken Tikka Masala all the time, so I had this in the house. You can get this online or in most spices sections, I got mine at the Co-op. 1 Tsp coriander 1/2 Tsp sea salt 1/2 Tsp black pepper 1/4 Tsp cinnamon 1/4 Tsp red pepper flakes Mix all these spices together, and set it aside for your chicken. This is the Savory Baked Chicken Legs recipe from Practical Paleo. It calls for: 6 Chicken Legs 1-2 Tbsps of melted butter, ghee, bacon fat or coconut oil. 2 tablespoons of the spice blend of your choice. **Note: You really can use any type of chicken in here; drumsticks are great, wings, thighs (bone in our out), anything works great with this. You could do chicken breast, but I wouldn’t, personally. I find that I never eat chicken breast anymore since I started eating paleo, considering the thighs and skin have a lot of good, tasty fat in them. Now in the store I always choose chicken thighs first because I prefer the dark meat taste, which is fine by me ’cause those breasts be expensive! So you’ve got your chicken, your spice blend all set to go, and now to choose your fat. I love all these cooking fats, and I cook with them all the time, but when I’ve got the choice and I want something super rich, buttery and delicious, my first choice is always….
GHEE. That’s right, clarified butter, and man is it good. I get the Purity Farms Organic Ghee, which you can buy in two different sizes (also got mine from the Co-op) and I put that s*** on everything. Seriously, make some sweet potato fries or roasted butternut squash with it sometime, something simple, and you will be blown away at the richness and taste of this cooking fat. So I chose ghee for this dish, because there were relatively few ingredients and I wanted to get a lot of flavor out of it. Here’s the instructions for the chicken (so simple): •Preheat oven to 375° •Place chicken legs (thighs, drumsticks, whatever) onto a baking sheet or into an oven-safe dish, and brush them with the melted ghee. •Sprinkle the spice blend evenly over the drumsticks. •Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the center of one of the legs.
I was absolutely blown away with how good this was. I was totally not expecting it to be as savory, moist and full of flavor as it was. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the Practical Paleo recipes, but this one is now up there for one of my favorites. I made this for leftovers to have the next day, and it is awesome cold, too! I would think this would be great chopped up and made over a salad, or you can just eat it like me, drooling over it, standing over the stove waiting for it to cool and carnivorously consuming my ghee-laden chicken while standing in the kitchen, having sauce all over my hands and avoiding attempts by the cat to steal my dinner.
NOW GO EAT SOME FAT!