I continue to get questions about how to eat healthy food when you are really busy with work, family and life. I want to acknowledge a truly lovely woman I met after I spoke with Louise Hay and Ahlea Khadro at the Hay House I Can Do It in Pasadena.
This was a very bright woman and she was asking about how to eat healthy with a busy lifestyle. And let’s face it, we are all busy! Her question was about fast food — is it healthier to eat a grilled chicken sandwich or a burger. GREAT question!
Since most fast food meat and poultry is conventionally raised, this means the animals were raised with hormones and antibiotics. Their feed is not their native diet, which means they are not as healthy as they could be. So eating this meat or poultry means we are getting a not so healthy food and our bodies are subject to those hormones and antibiotics. We are in effect, eating the hormones and antibiotics ourselves. Eeek!
We Have Options
Your body is amazing and efficient. I would like to show you a fast, easy alternative that you can fit into your busy life. This is one of my favorite tricks for when I was an executive working 12 hours per day (before I rehabbed my schedule!).
I hope you enjoy it — ask questions or let me know what you thought!
Chicken, especially organic and pasture fed, is a wonderful, nourishing meal. While marketing will try to tell you that the white breast meat is the best, our ancestors knew that the dark meat is full of important fatty acids and nutrients, so go for all the meat and know your body will love you!
Fast, Easy and Guaranteed to be Moist
You can cook chicken so that it’s fast, easy and guaranteed to be moist! No more overcooked chicken done in the oven with a fear of burning. If you are pressed for time or want a sure-thing in terms of tender chicken, this is the recipe for you! If it wasn’t, we couldn’t call it a fabulous chicken recipe for busy people, could we?
If you buy the chicken directly from your farmer (one that you know has good practices, allows their chickens to run free and eat their native pasture diet and does not feed them soy or any genetically modified (GMO) feed), you can get more affordable chickens AND support your local farmer.
Time to prepare
- 20 minutes to prepare, between 2 – 4 hours to cook
Serves: 6 – 8 people
- 1 whole fryer chicken (between 4 – 5 pounds), preferably organic pasture fed
- ½ cup organic extra virgin olive oil (virgin unrefined coconut oil works well too!)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- Optional — ½ cup sliced onions or 1 cup finely sliced leeks
- 2 TBL dried rosemary
- 2 TBL dried thyme
- 2 TBL dried basil
- 1 TBL apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Take the chicken and remove the bag of giblets and the neck from the interior cavity. Set these aside in the refrigerator because they are super nutrient rich and have important uses in other recipes! The neck can be used to make bone broth (recipe coming) and the organs can be used to make delicious organ meat pate. I have tricks to make the pate less “strong” so that you and your family will love it. I will post them soon!
- Rinse the chicken with filtered water and put it in your crockpot. Crockpots range in price from $19 up. You can get a very good one on the very low end price range. I prefer one that has a ceramic interior and that has a timed setting, so you can customize how much time you want to cook something. This makes life easy when you’re on a busy schedule! You can get them at a kitchen store or on Amazon.com.
- Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of your crockpot. You don’t need more than that. Some crockpot recipes say to brown the chicken first and not to use water. I have found that I can skip browning and add a little water to the bottom of the crockpot for the best results. If you have the time to brown the chicken first and you love that, go for it! I find it’s not necessary for a flavorful, moist chicken.
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, basil, sea salt and pepper.
- Take your hand and lift the skin at the edge of the chicken breast. See if you can gently push your fingers under the skin to make an opening between the meat and the skin. It’s usually pretty easy to do this with no or minimal breakage of the skin. Now take some of the herb and olive oil mixture in your hand and rub it on the meat under the skin. If you don’t want to do this, you can rub the olive oil and herb mixture on top of the skin. I like to put it under the skin because it spreads the flavors right into the meat. You should have some of the oil and herb mixture left over. Whatever is left can go on top of the skin or into the water in the crockpot.
- Add the apple cider vinegar into the water at the bottom of the crockpot.
- Set your crockpot timer to anything from 4 – 8 hours. The crockpot will adjust the heat accordingly so that it’s done. My favorite is 4 hours. I put the chicken in around 8 am and it’s ready for lunch. If you are working, you could do 8 hours and cook the chicken overnight so that you wake up to chicken you can grab for lunch that day. Or get it all together in the crock pot the night before, store the interior crock in your refrigerator, then take it out and set your crockpot for 8-hours so that your chicken is ready for dinner when you get home! Your crockpot will just go to “warm” once the cooking is done, so if you are not home within 8 hours, it will stay on warm until you return.
- If you don’t have a crockpot, you can make this in your oven. Add the chicken to a glass or Pyrex baking container/large casserole dish with a good-sized lip. Put the water in the bottom of the baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake until your meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. This should take about 1 – 2 hours. You could do this the night before and have the chicken for lunch and dinner the next day. Just grab a leg or two in the morning and go – it can make a great lunch or snack. Grab some spring mix, some avocado and a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar, put it in a small container for transport and you are good to go.
- If you’re using a crockpot, it will go to “warm” once it’s finished cooking.
Serve with cardamom carrots and steamed broccoli. If you want, you can throw the broccoli right into the crockpot with the chicken so you don’t even have to cook it separately…it’s all ready at once. How’s that for convenience? Throw in some carrots too, if you want some good color.
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