In case you didn’t know, I spent the summer on maternity leave, getting to know my little one and settling into the rhythms of motherhood.
This has been a time of tremendous growth and transformation for me and my husband, and I know many of you are going through your own transitions right now as well.
Add autumn energy to the mix, which is itself a time of transition, and we’ve all got to work overtime to keep our balance.
In times of change it is especially important to stay grounded and nourish yourself so you can navigate the ups and downs of life with greater ease and grace.
The food you put into your body provides the literal building blocks for your entire physiology, influencing not just your digestion and metabolism but also your energy level, capacity to think clearly and make good decisions, as well as your emotions and overall sense of well-being.
We’ve become acutely aware of just how true this is at my house.
When we eat nourishing food things just seem to flow more smoothly, even within the turbulence that a newborn brings into our lives.
When we don’t eat well we all become as cranky as babies.
Maybe not right away, but within a few days the effects are undeniable.
The problem is, we don’t always have time to slave away in the kitchen.
Between diaper changes, feedings, and getting non-baby-related work done, the mere act of mincing garlic can seem insurmountable.
That’s why my husband Adam and I have come up with a few simple staple recipes that are super easy to prepare, extremely delicious, and packed full of the essential nutrients we need to really thrive amidst all of life’s challenges and joys.
Want to know our #1 go-to meal?
When in doubt, pasture-raised chicken legs are for dinner.
Here’s how we prepare them:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat a sauce pan or wide pot over medium-low heat and melt either butter, duck fat (my personal favorite), lard, or add avocado oil.
Coarsely chop a small onion and add that to the pan. Let the onion brown a bit before adding other ingredients.
Coarsely chop a few carrots, celery, (optional) fennel, and (optional) mushrooms and add those to the pan.
Chop up 1-5 cloves of garlic, depending on your preference, and toss that in, as well as any herbs you might want in the mix (rosemary, sage, oregano, parsley and thyme are favorites at my house).
Option to add olives (we love the castleveltrano and nicoise varieties).
Place chicken legs on top of veggies (about 2 legs per person if you want left-overs), squeeze 1/2 a lemon on top (bonus points if you place the lemon in the pot as well), season with salt and pepper, cover that bad-boy up with a lid and stick it in the oven for about 20 minutes-1 hour until the juices run clear and/or the meat is falling off the bone.
Let it cook long enough and you’ll end up with a delicious broth at the bottom of the pot.
And if you’d like it to be a little more crispy, take the lid off and stick the whole thing under the broiler for the last 3-7 minutes to get some nice rich browning on the skin.
But it doesn’t stop there!
• Another variation is to replace the lemon with balsamic or apple cider vinegar, or leave the acid out all together for a sweeter tasting end-result.
• And if you want to get saucy you can leave out the carrots and celery and instead throw in some tomatoes or a can of the fire-roasted variety (this option pairs great with rice or polenta!)
• Or you can take a left at the fork in the road after you add the garlic and instead of going the European route you can toss in some ginger, turmeric, fish sauce, rice vinegar and soy sauce for a more Asian spin on the dish.
If you want you can also swap out the onion at the beginning with chopped up green onion, and get really crazy by adding some daikon radish into the mix.
• And there’s always the option to get spicy by adding some chili oil drizzled on top at the end.
We love this chicken leg dinner for many reasons.
First off, it’s a super easy recipe.
It only takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare (depending on how meticulous you are in chopping your veggies), and there are so many variations that we never really get bored.
Secondly, it uses the yummiest part of the chicken, which happens to be the one of the cheapest items in the meat section at the grocery store.
Plus, with all the veggies, protein, and good fats our taste-buds delight and our bodies reward us with more energy and a greater overall sense of well-being.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
Leave a comment and let me know which of these easy recipe variations you are most excited to try.
And if you have a go-to recipe at your house I’d love to hear about that too!
Until next time,
Love, hugs, and chicken broth,