Chicken is a standard, inexpensive protein for many diets, but it is often bland. These slow carb Asian chicken thighs, marinated in a robust sauce pairs nicely with roasted broccoli for a perfect, easy low carb dinner.Jump to Recipe
Chicken and Low Carb does not Need to be Boring
While there are many, many diets out there that “work”, in terms of losing weight, there are not that many that work over the long term as a viable lifestyle change. The key is to choose the healthiest diet that you can find that will fit your individual lifestyle long term. “Know thyself” is the key.
When I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight, I did a deep dive into the diet literature. I had that “aha moment” when I started reading Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Body (aka Slow Carb Diet), as it resonated with me as a diet I could sustain over the long term.
A few of the key elements of the slow carb diet that appealed to me included:
- An emphasis on protein and veggies. I love meat, fish, eggs and veggies, so that was a good start.
- The one glass of red wine a day was important to me. That’s my one treat at the end of a busy day.
- The idea of scheduling any treats or celebration food by practicing delayed gratification made sense for a long term lifestyle change that I could live with.
The point is, this diet was a fit for me. Paleo may be yours, but I would just encourage you to be realistic about who you are and how you intend to live the next 10-20 or so years.
I did have two problems with the Slow Carb Diet:
1) The weight comes off slowly. My husband was on Atkins and he shed pounds like a banchee, but mine was a slow 1 lb. (or 1/2 lb.) a week. HOWEVER, it did come off and it stayed off for over 6 year now and I don’t see it coming back.
2) If you don’t cook, or if you aren’t interested in cooking creatively, it can get pretty boring. There aren’t a lot of slow carb snacks or grab & go foods, so you pretty much need to do some cooking. Eating the same thing over and over can work for many people at breakfast and lunch, but I found you really have to change up your dinners or you will die of boredom.
Most recipes on this website are either designed to be slow carb or can be readily adapted to slow carb (i.e., Thai food without the rice, avocado-smothered burgers without the buns, etc.). Most recipes are also designed to be simple without needing hard-to-find ingredients. This slow carb Asian chicken and broccoli fits that bill to a T.
Slow Carb Asian Chicken and Broccoli
- For the chicken thighs
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 2-3 Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chile paste I used sambal oelek
- 10 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tsp sesame seeds
- 3 tsp grapeseed oil
- 10 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the roasted broccoli
- 2 heads of broccoli or 4 cups frozen florets
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp divided
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- .5 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- freshly shaved parmesan cheese optional
- fresh herbs of your choice optional
Instructions for the Chicken Thighs
- Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, chile paste, and garlic.
- Over medium-high heat, quickly saute sesame seeds in a large skillet with 3 tsp. oil until seeds have browned (1-2 min). Whisk into vinegar mixture.
- Pour vinegar & oil mixture into a large zip-lock bag and add the chicken to the bag. Mush the bag around until all chicken pieces are covered. Seal bag and marinated chicken in refrigerator for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Remove chicken from the bag and pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil over medium heat, stirring, until it is a little syrupy (about 1 min boil). Place the chicken on a rack atop a roasting pan and baste chicken pieces with 1/3 of the marinade. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then pull out oven rack and baste chicken with more marinade. Use any marinade in bottom of roasting pan as a baste also. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Baste with remaining marinade and bake another 10 – 15 minutes. Test chicken for doneness by poking with a fork and seeing that the juice is clear with no blood. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Instructions for the Roasted Broccoli
- Cut broccoli into florets and make sure they are as dry as possible. If you are using frozen broccoli, thaw it first and then dry it with paper towels. You want it to get crispy and brown.
- Place the broccoli in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven at 425° for about 25 minutes until the florets are starting to brown. I put them in the bottom rack of the oven after the first 10 minute interval of the chicken cooking and the chicken and broccoli finished at the same time.
- As the chicken is resting, take the broccoli out of the oven and zest a lemon over the florets. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the florets and add another 1-2 Tbsp olive oil.
- Toss and serve. Add some shaved parmesan and fresh herbs of your choice, if desired.
Although I am not currently taking clients for diet & health coaching, I have been a coach for many years with the online service called coach.me. It is a great platform for all kinds of coaching – anything from specific diets, writing a blog, getting up early, or getting rid of that pesky procrastination. Explore the site through the link below. There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know. You can always contact me to get referrals also. Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.