There are a few different cliches that could apply to this recipe…
“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
Or the idea of great creations being a result of “happy accidents” (Velcro, CHOCOLATE CHIP FREAKIN COOKIES… the list goes on).
I’d like to think this recipe came as a result of desperation, creativity, hanger (hunger + anger that’s partially derived from said hunger = hanger), and one of those “happy accidents” that seems to happen all the time in the kitchen.
Here I was on a Sunday night, ready to make my usual dinner of chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, and broccoli with a side salad of kale, avocado, and dressing, only to realize that I was missing the key starchy component: sweet potatoes. First off, I immediately got annoyed with myself because I had JUST gone to the grocery store that morning (raise your hand if you almost always somehow manage to forget something on your list even though you made the list so that you wouldn’t forget anything… me too, sis, me too). I was up the creek without a potato paddle. Not a fun creek to be in. I was racking my brain, trying to think of any other suitable carb substitutes. …Rice? No, I don’t have any pre-made and I’m not waiting 45 minutes to cook a batch. Pasta? No, not waiting (impatience is one of my more prickly qualities). WHAT THE EFF DO I DO?! I quickly realized that the only starchy carb I had at my disposal that had a reasonable cooking time were oats.
How can I make this work?
My brain starting thinking, as it tends to do from time to time (not always guaranteed, but usually comes in when I need it the most). When I considered the texture of oats, I wondered how I could turn this savory since I usually eat them sweet. Then it dawned on me – Risotto. Risotto is basically like rice cooked in broth. It’s got a creamy consistency similar to oats. And from there, it snowballed.
I decided to make my usual chicken thighs and broccoli, only to be paired with an oh-so-sophisticated oat risotto cooked in bone broth. Sounds fancier than chicken/broccoli/sweet potatoes, and we have the added gut health benefits of bone broth!
Bone broth is kind of a “trendy” food nowadays, but I’m all for trends that support gut health. There’s a reason your gut is nicknamed your second brain. If you have gut problems, making progress with your fitness lifestyle (particularly your physique goals) is generally a lot more trying than for someone whose gut health isn’t an issue. There’s even some findings that indicate there are gut problems that can play a role in mental illnesses like depression. Bone broth in particular is praised for the collagen and minerals found in it, which help promote healthy gut lining.
You could say that I had a “gut feeling” about this recipe.
I’m sorry. That was bad.
Along with great gut health benefits, this recipe is full of fiber from the oats and broccoli to help keep your insides swept nice and clean (they call fiber “nature’s broom” for a reason), and a good serving of protein from the chicken thighs to help keep you full and repair your muscles after strenuous exercise. And it tastes good, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing a blog about it. All around, this is a huge win!
SO I cooked up my oats in the bone broth and cooked the chicken thighs and broccoli on the stovetop, and voila! This marvelous creation was the result. And the best part? It’s super quick and easy. No crazy ingredients, and the cook time is only about 10 minutes. This is great for a lot of people, whether you’re busy or hangry (hopefully not both).
Call me crazy (believe me, you won’t be the first person, and to be honest, I don’t think you’re entirely wrong), but this spurt of food creativity came when I needed it most. Let’s get into the specifics.
Cook time: ~10 minutes
-4oz all natural chicken thighs
-2 cups organic broccoli (I use the Trader Joe’s frozen variety. Frozen produce is generally cheaper than fresh, and is also actually fresher than fresh in most cases)
-1/2 cup (dry) quick cooking oats
-1 cup bone broth
–Trader Joe’s “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning (to taste)
-Garlic + Herb Mrs. Dash (to taste)
-Sea salt (to taste)
I recommend getting your chicken started first, since it needs to be cooked before you can add anything else into the pan. I simply spray my pan with coconut oil spray and cook it all the way through on a medium-heat setting.
Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, go ahead and add the broccoli to the pan. This is where I add the bagel seasoning, sea salt, and Mrs. Dash (you can use whatever seasonings you like/prefer).
While all of that is getting friendly up in the pan together, pour your dry oats into a bowl and add in your cup of bone broth. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and then proceed to microwave/stir in 30 second increments until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
Once the broccoli and chicken are all finished, go ahead and add them to the bowl/dish with your ris-oat-o (or plate, if that’s your jam. I just trust bowls more. Food falls off of plates a lot easier. And I already used the bowl to cook the oats in, so I’m down to have one less dish to wash). Top with nutritional yeast (I like this stuff because it has a naturally cheesy/savory flavor, so it makes a great topper for savory dishes), et voila! You’re done. Now you have yourself a yummy, savory bowl of bone broth ris-oat-o. I have a feeling this is going to be a new go-to meal, especially come fall time when I’m craving savory, cozy dishes as temperatures start to fall.
If you enjoyed this recipe and/or want to see more, be sure to let me know in the comments! And remember: a healthy gut is a vital part of a healthy/happy body. Treat it with love and give it the good stuff.
Be well, my friends. Until next time!