Friday, October 11, 2013

Maple-Pecan Chicken with Paleo Corn Bread

Doesn't this look tasty!  I found the recipe for this chicken meal over at Paleo Plan and I only played with it a little.  I thought I had walnuts in my pantry and it turned out I had pecans, so that's what we had.  Other than that, I stuck to the recipe.  It was simple actually.  I toasted the pecans, marinating the chicken breasts while the pecans were toasting, then cooked the chicken breasts, then made the amazing syrup that went over the chicken and pecans with the drippings from the chicken and some maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.  Yum!  My hubby and son came home from Cross Fit and they both walked in asking what smelled so good?  Win!

Looks good, right?
I also made some Paleo corn bread.  I know what you're thinking... corn bread?  But you can't have corn or other grains on Paleo!  And you're right, we can't.  Well, as I told my husband, if I can make him mashed potatoes, I can find a recipe for corn bread. Just wait till next week when I serve him rice with our Moo Shu beef that I'm cooking!

These were so good we were fighting over the last few pieces today at lunch.  The original recipe is at Sweet and Free Life and I had to change it to take out the coconut oil and stevia.  Kudos to my grainy textured almond flour for helping give the right texture to this corn bread.  I think a good quality almond flour would be bad and an almond meal is better here.  I melted some almond butter with some fat (bacon fat was perfect because I used to love throwing bacon bits into my corn bread) then mixed that with some eggs, vanilla, and honey.  Mix in some almond flour/meal, sea salt, and baking powder then you're ready to bake it.

Am I the only one who likes butter and honey on their corn bread?

Verdict: We had one super tasty night!  The chicken had a great flavor and the corn bread was extremely close to the real thing.  Both were loved by everyone and I'm sorry I had only cooked 4 pieces of chicken because the boys came back for seconds.  #2 usually doesn't, but working out at the Cross Fit gym with his father must be making him hungrier.  As if he wasn't eating a lot already!  Good grief, now I have 2 men to feed.  This meal and side dish was a win and will be made again.

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper (I omitted because we don’t like pepper)
½ cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP pure maple syrup
½ cup water

1. Combine EVOO, thyme, sea salt, and pepper.
2. Rub chicken with seasoning mixture and let stand.
3. In a 12” nonstick skillet, toast pecans over medium-low heat 4-6 minutes or until nice and fragrant but not burnt.  Watch them, they’ll burn if you don’t stir them, so keep on stirring!
4. Transfer the pecans to a dish then turn up the heat to medium, keeping the same skillet on your burner.
5. Add chicken to skillet.  Cook 12 minutes or until done.  Yeah, 12 minutes my foot.  Was more like 20. Turn chicken as needed.
6. Transfer chicken to a clean plate.
7. Add vinegar to the chicken drippings in the hot skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
8. Add maple syrup and water. Simmer 6-7 minutes until slightly thickened.
9. Stir in walnuts and serve on top of chicken.

Makes 8x8 Pan

¼ cup almond butter
2 TBSP bacon fat
3 eggs, beaten
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ½ TBSP raw honey
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Melt almond butter with bacon fat in microwave.
3. Stir vanilla extract, eggs, and honey with almond butter mixture in small bowl.
4. Mix dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, and sea salt) in medium bowl.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir well.
6. Pour into an 8x8 baking dish that has been greased.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done.  I used the toothpick to test the middle to make sure it was baked through.

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