When we first started eating Paleo, I was buying whatever cuts of meat I needed for the recipes I was following. I soon realized that to keep this up, I was going to have to go back to work. As a brain surgeon. Since that wasn’t a realistic plan, I knew I needed to change some things. Even then, I understood the value of buying the highest quality meat possible, but we could not continue to break the bank on bacon.
One easy, and delicious way to save money is to buy dark meat chicken rather than white meat and definitely buy it bone in and skin on. Here are some reasons why:
- As I said above, it is far more affordable than boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- The skin keeps the chicken moist
- Dark meat has more fat, more flavor and is therefore more satisfying (but only about 50 more calories than a comparable piece of white meat)
- Dark meat doesn’t require complicated recipes or careful cooking to keep it from drying out
- Save the bones and cook them for chicken broth, one of the most nutritious foods you can buy (or get for free since you already bought the chicken).
- The skin contains mostly polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acids – the kind that are good for you. Yes, you mostly need omega-3 fatty acids, but you need omega-6s as well, the kind found in the skin of healthy chickens. Here’s why: Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. Essential in this instance means that your body cannot manufacture them. You must get them from food. Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as Omega-3s, play a critical role in brain function, normal growth and development, aid in the stimulation of skin and hair growth, help maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system. (thank you to the University of Maryland for this information.) Most Americans are getting far more Omega-6s than Omega-3s. Why? Because they are found in industrial seed oils, packaged snack foods, pastries, etc. and that is where most Americans get the majority of their calories. These types of Omega-6s cause inflammation and are not beneficial. This is an important distinction.
My kids prefer the full chicken legs (leg and thigh together in one piece), but I prefer just the thighs. They are both the same price in the store, but I think the thighs are a little easier to eat.
Yes, I do go around and collect everyone’s bones after dinner, throw them in my “bone bag” in the freezer and when I have a full bag, I make stock.
You can do just about anything with a chicken thigh, but this quick sauce is our favorite. It’s good on pork and seafood as well.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. It’s a great meal to take to someone who is sick or just had a baby. Most people bring lasagnas and other heavy casseroles. Yes, those are delicious, but folks appreciate something lighter and healthier as well.