Paprika + Thyme Roasted Chicken with Fennel & Sesame Cucumber Salad

Roasting chickens in the oven is one of my favorite go to's when meal prepping on Sunday (or a pretty quick fix during the week!). I also make a couple different sauces to have during the week-- from pestos to chimichurries to salad dressings-- which I add to almost everything.  One of my favorite components of this plate was the light, crunchy slightly sweet fennel. Fennel adds a refreshing contribution to many meals! Roasting the fennel pulls out the sweetness, while still keeping a perfect balance with its natural bitterness. I roasted my fennel with a rub of dijon mustard, nutritional yeast,and a little salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Y U M! 

F E N N E L contains unique phytonutrients such as quercitin, rutin, and antherole that give it strong antioxidant activity. Fennel is also an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folate (B9). Folate plays a vital role in gene regulation, detoxification, neurotransmitter synthesis , immune cell maturation, DNA synthesis, energy and myelin production, and building and maintaining cell membranes!
N U T R I T I O N A L  Y E A S T ( a deactivated yeast) is a complete protein and is packed with B vitamins among many other vitamins. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. It's delicious as a rub like I did or in a salad dressing, sprinkled on popcorn, or substituted for a nutty, cheesy, or creamy flavor you are trying to attain in a dish. 

Ingredients

*see separate recipe under "SNACKS, SIDES, SAUCES" for chimichurri sauce

  • FENNEL
    • 2 tbsp. avocado oil 
    • 2-3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
    • Salt & pepper 
  • CHICKEN
    • Ghee (enough to coat the chicken; can substitute ghee for avocado oil) 
    • Paprika, thyme, salt & pepper (enough to generously coat the chicken--don't be shy!) 
  • CUCUMBER SALAD
    • 1/2 medium cucumber 
    • Black sesame seeds (sprinkled on top)
    • Olive oil (drizzled on top)

How To 

  • CHICKEN
    • A day before cooking the chicken, remove from bag and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place chicken in a glass baking dish. Coat with ghee, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper. Put in the fridge overnight 
    • The next day, take out of the fridge1 hour prior to roasting 
    • Preheat oven to 400 and let cook for 45-50 minutes. The key is to NOT peak at it! No opening the oven. Let it do its magic! After 45-50 minutes, turn the oven down to 375 and let cook an additional 10-15 minutes, when the juices are running clear into the baking dish. Chicken should have a golden, crispy skin
  • FENNEL
    • Cut fennel in half and then quarter halves. Coat with a generous amount of avocado oil, dijon mustard (get in all the little crevices!), nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.  Set aside and prepare chicken. Roast on 400 (cant put in at the same time as the chicken) for 20-30 minutes or until slightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork
  • CUCUMBER SALAD
    • Wash cucumber. Using a spiralizer, spiralize cucumber. Place on plate and drizzle with salt, pepper, olive oil, and sesame seeds 

Health Perks

detoxifying 

vitamin c

high protein

Good for digestion

B vitamins (fennel & nutritional yeast)

anti-cancer properties

fiber

anti-inflammatory 

Kid Friendly

Antioxidants

skin friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon (cucumber) 

LunchKatrina Kreimer