Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lemon Marjoram Chicken

Both the lemon and the marjoram
are from our garden!
As I am planning our autoimmune paleo meals I am googling different ingredients and finding out that there are many different approaches to the autoimmune paleo diet. Some say not to drink coffee but black and green tea are ok. Some say no caffeine at all, not even tea (some herbal teas would be fine). Some say peppercorns (black and white pepper) are ok, some say they are not. Some say garlic is ok, some say you should avoid FODMAPs too and then garlic is not ok. I am getting a bit overwhelmed. (What are FODMAPs anyway? I can't take it in today anymore, will research them later...)

I decided to use garlic and black pepper still, I might stop using them later after I do more research. I also had a cup of green tea in the afternoon (oops). This is our first AIP dinner and it is very similar to our previous paleo dinners. Actually almost identical. Tonight we are having lemon marjoram chicken, spaghetti squash with herbs and olive oil and broccoli rabe sauteed in bone broth.

(After I had squeezed a whole lemon and grated its zest to make a marinade for chicken I remembered that fruit should be avoided too on AIP. Oh well, citrus are at least low fructose fruit. I think it is the fructose that is the main problem especially considering blood sugar regulation.)

I had the inspiration for this dish from my friend Bridgid who served me something similar barbequed. It had thyme instead of marjoram and the amounts were maybe a bit different but otherwise most ingredients are the same.

Lemon marjoram chicken
Gluten free, paleo, autoimmune paleo

2-3 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts (or why not use this same marinade for a whole chicken) (enough to have left overs!)
2 cloves of garlic
A couple of sprigs of sweet marjoram
A splash or two of olive oil
The juice and zest of one lemon
Black pepper and sea salt to taste (pepper is optional)

TIP: To grate the zest of the lemon, use a grater and put a piece of parchment paper on the smallest grating blade (the one that is almost sharp, when you press the paper on it and start grating the lemon zest, the sharp poky parts come through the paper and attach the paper securely on the grater). Grate the lemon and lift the paper from the grater and you can just scrape the zest off the paper with a knife. I learnt this at my home economics class as a teenager in a public school in Finland! Maybe it is common knowledge but maybe useful for someone.

Mix all ingredients of the marinade in a ziploc bag or a bowl or the pan you plan to bake the chicken in. Toss the chickens in the marinade and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I prefer longer.

Preheat oven to 375 (or if you have just roasted spaghetti squash, just leave the oven on when you take the squash out, they could overlap too if you have space in your oven). Bake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked. I use a meat thermometer to check the temperature (165F for chicken).

I served this with lots of spaghetti squash and piles of broccoli rabe. Salad would be a nice addition.

First day of autoimmune paleo went great. I learnt that I really need to eat before my blood sugar drops. I got a little weak before dinner and snacked on some cucumbers and carrots. I feel pretty good though, calm and serene and am looking forward to the day two of this experiment.

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