Main Course

Chicken Cilantro

By: Ginny Mahar
Chicken-Cilantro

 Watch time: 13 minutes

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo-friendly, AIP-friendly

Chicken Cilantro takes the cake as far as cilantro-centric cookery goes. An entire bunch goes into the pot and bathes pre-browned chicken pieces until the meat is tender enough to pull from the bone with a fork. There are so many reasons why cilantro is good for those of us with thyroid disease. I have been rekindling a long romance with it, mainly after learning about its detoxifying properties. Did you know it can help flush the body of toxic metals like mercury and lead? More on that below.

This is an old, Mexican family recipe, given to me 16 years ago by a former client from my personal chef days. Roberto was born and raised in Mexico City, and this was a favorite meal, passed down from his mother. Her name was Maria. I am forever grateful to Maria for the good fortune of adding her recipe to my repertoire.

Due to less-than-ideal farming practices and feed, it is especially important to source chicken carefully. Organic, pastured birds are the best choice. Yes, high-quality chicken costs more, but if you purchase whole birds and butcher them yourself, and then save the carcass for bone broth, you’ll get the most bang for your cluck (tee hee).

If you are on the Paleo diet or do not eat grains, you can serve the chicken over cauliflower rice, in place of the rice recipe below. If you also omit the pepper, this recipe is AIP-friendly. 

Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:

Chicken-Cilantro
5 from 3 votes

Chicken Cilantro

This recipe takes the cake as far as cilantro-centric cookery goes. An entire bunch goes into the pot, and bathes pre-browned chicken pieces until they're fall-off-the-bone tender. Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo-friendly, AIP-friendly (see notes). 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 2 chicken breastsskinless, bone-in halves (cut in two if they're large)
  • 2 chicken thighsskinless, bone-in
  • 2 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 bunches cilantrodivided
  • 1 medium white onionpeeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 14 fl oz chicken broth
  • salt and pepperto taste

FOR THE RICE:

  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup minced onionpreferably white
  • 1 tbsp. butter or ghee
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 1 limejuice only
  • 3 cups water or chicken broth
  • salt and pepperto taste

Instructions

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  1. Remove skin from chicken breasts and thighs. The drumsticks will hold together better if you leave the skin on. Rinse chicken under cool running water, and pat dry. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides.

  2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Saute until nicely browned, 5-7 minutes each side.

  3. Meanwhile, combine 1 bunch cilantro, onion, garlic, and chicken broth in blender. Once blended, pour over chicken and simmer, covered, until meat is fork-tender and easily pulls away from the bone, about 45 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over Maria's Rice, garnished with plenty of fresh cilantro leaves.

FOR THE RICE:

  1. In a sauce pan with a tight-fitting lid, melt butter or ghee over medium heat. Add rice and onion, and cook, stirring, until rice becomes opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Add whole cilantro sprigs, lime juice, water or broth, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes (or according to package instructions). Remove heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes more. Remove cilantro sprigs, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Recipe Notes

If you are on the Paleo diet or do not eat grains, you can serve the chicken over cauliflower rice, in place of the rice recipe. If you also omit the pepper, this recipe is AIP-friendly. 

Nutritional Info Print
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Cilantro
Amount Per Serving
Calories 714 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 134mg 45%
Sodium 571mg 24%
Potassium 702mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 82g 27%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 35g 70%
Vitamin A 6.5%
Vitamin C 22%
Calcium 7.3%
Iron 11.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ginny-Mahar-Co-Founder-Thyroid-Refresh

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.