When you practice the Paleo diet, you get to try out different types of meat and fowls of all sorts. But there are still many who practice Paleo using regular types of meat and fowl, and the reasons behind it vary. One very common fowl meat that people still enjoy and choose over others is chicken.
The Paleo diet is a great way to explore different types of food that are not only healthy but also economical. And while others stick to more exotic or unusual choices of meat (snake meat, anyone?), others stick to the basics. The most common meats you can still enjoy on the Paleo diet food list are beef, pork and chicken. You can find different meals that feature chicken as one of the ingredients. Chicken is not only cheap it can also be bought easily in stores either whole or in choice cuts.
However, I have a love-hate relationship with chicken. There are days when I find it bland or overcook it. Then there are days when I crave chicken and look for Paleo diet recipes that can make my cravings go away. Kids love chicken, so having a recipe or two when family and friends with kids come along for dinner is also a must. Having a recipe that will make chicken more tasty but not overpower its natural taste makes chicken more interesting.
This particular recipe is something that I find best to cook whenever I crave chicken. It’s not only easy to do, but also satisfying in terms of taste. Kids can enjoy it and adults will love how the tastes blend well and complement the chicken.
- 4 Chicken Breasts – Butterfly and pound flat
- ¾ – 1 Cup (170-230 g) Button Mushrooms – Roughly Chopped
- 13 Bacon Strips – 5 To Be Used For Stuffing And The Rest For Wrapping
- 2-2 ½ Cups (450-600 g) Fresh Spinach
- 2 Garlic Cloves – Minced
- Salt and Ground Pepper – To Taste
- • Have your oven ready, preheat to 350°F or 180°C. You will also need to prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper and set it aside for later.
- • You can have the chicken breasts butterflied by the butcher or you can do it yourself. You simply need to cut the chicken breasts in half but do not go all the way through and then open them.
- • Place a plastic wrap on top of the butterflied chicken and pound using a meat mallet or rolling pin until each one is flat.
- • Place a skillet or large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Place five strips of bacon in the frying pan or skillet when it is hot. Cook bacon on both sides, making sure that the bacon is crispy.
- • Place the cooked bacon on some paper towels to help get rid of any excess fat. Let the bacon cool and dice immediately when cooled.
- • Pour out some of the bacon fat from the skillet or frying pan, leaving about 3 tablespoons in. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms and cook over a medium to high heat.
- • When the mushrooms start to soften, add the spinach.
- • Add salt and pepper to the spinach. Cover the skillet or frying pan and cook until the spinach begins to wilt.
- • Once the spinach has wilted, immediately remove the skillet or pan from the heat.
- • Add the diced bacon to the spinach, mushrooms, and garlic and stir everything well.
- • Get the chicken breasts and place the spinach mixture in the middle of each breast.
- • Fold the sides of the chicken over the top of the mixture. This will make a pocket which will hold the spinach mixture in place.
- • Wrap the rest of the bacon strips around each chicken breast and seal the bacon wrapped chicken using two toothpicks on each.
- • Place your wrapped and stuffed chicken onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. The length of the cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken. The thicker the chicken meat, the longer it will need to cook. The chicken should no longer be pink.
- • Once the chicken breasts are cooked, remove from the oven and let them rest.
- • Remove the toothpicks from the chicken and serve!
- • You can serve this with fresh green salad or some spicy sweet potato wedges. Enjoy!
Your kids, friends and loved ones will absolutely love this dish and request that you do it frequently. You can even make this better if you choose organic or free-range chicken to make it more Paleo approved. But just like you, I have often wondered: what is the difference between organic and free-range raised chicken? And which is better? Here are some facts that will open your eyes on the truth behind free-roaming/free-range chicken and organic chicken, and which one is best for you.
As the name implies, free-range or free-roaming chickens are not confined to pens or overcrowded coops. Chicken from this method of raising are given time to roam in a wider area, giving them enough sunlight, air and exercise. These chickens are given enough time or even the whole day outside their coops. Though some free-range chickens are allowed to forage and have the space to do so, these chickens are still fed with antibiotics, supplements and feeds that may contain chemicals and pesticides.
Real pastured chickens need a large space in order to assure they are fed well and the area they feed from will regrow. Though the term free-range seems convincing, the type of food being fed to this type of chicken (or any animals that produce meat) is not guaranteed although there are producers who use natural foods as much as possible.
Much like free-range chicken, this type of chicken is given the time to roam under the sun for a couple of hours or the whole day. The big difference between free-range and organic chicken is the food they eat. Organic chickens are raised and fed only in natural ways. This means no antibiotics, supplements or any feeds that contains chemicals, herbicides or fertilizers in them. Organic chickens are also often given more space in their coops compared to free-range chickens. Feeding and raising chickens using the organic method often takes more time, effort and money- thus, making organic chicken and any organic meat and vegetables more expensive.
Free-Range Or Organic? Which is better?
It is obvious that organic chickens win in terms of benefits and safety. Because organic chickens are raised in a natural way, you get to enjoy the health benefits of chicken without fear of toxins from the chemicals that some free-range or conventionally produced chickens are eating. If you will notice, there is only a slight difference between free-range and conventionally raised chickens, but the leap in price is different when organic chicken is involved because of the method used to raise them. This is true even for other animals that produce meat, and the same also goes for organic fruit and vegetables.
Though it might be more expensive, knowing that what you are consuming has been treated humanely and in an organic way is worth every penny. Organic is also more Paleo diet approved compared to free-range chicken. However, if organic chicken is not available or you cannot spend more on it, then going free-range is a better choice than conventionally raised chicken. Just remember that reading the packaging and having a quick research on the producer of the chicken you will choose to buy can help you a lot in making decisions.
Chicken is one of the first fowls that were domesticated and farmed in order to have a steady supply of meat for humans. Perhaps our ancestors also hunted fowls similar to chicken, and had their chance of raising a few during the early ages in order to sustain themselves. Chicken is indeed a more convenient type of meat that gives great health benefits for our bodies but is not as expensive as other meat. So if you can, cook some chicken dishes just like this one of many Paleo recipes we feature on this site and make it healthier by choosing only the best type of chicken you can get hold of and which appears on any Paleo food list.