Take cilantro past the realm of garnish with this fall-off-the-bone chicken braised in a garlicky cilantro sauce, and served with a lime-infused rice pilaf.
There are so many reasons why cilantro is good for those of us with hypothyroidism, that I dedicated an entire blog post to it last week, as part of my Featured Ingredient collection here on Hypothyroid Chef. I have been re-kindling a long romance with cilantro, mainly after learning about its detoxifying properties. Did you know it can help flush the body of toxic metals like mercury and lead? If you follow my blog, you probably did. If not, you can read about it here.
I’ve used cilantro gratuitously in my cooking for years. It adds a bright and pungent citrus flavor, and can be used as fresh leaves or in seed form (aka coriander), but not interchangeably.
Lately, it’s been Cilantro Fest 2016 in my kitchen. You saw cilantro in my most recent post for Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk. I’ve also been working on a new cilantro smoothie recipe (stay tuned). Earlier this week hubs and I fell in love with this incredible Cilantro Pesto from Serious Eats which uses Cotija cheese and pumpkin seeds in place of traditional pesto ingredients like pine nuts and parmesan. Recipe author and BBQ authority, Joshua Bousel, said it was heavenly with grilled skirt steak. We slathered it on grilled salmon, and the next day used the leftovers in a nourishing bowl filled with Spanish rice, pinto beans, corn, diced avocado and cherry tomatoes *slurp*.
But this recipe for Chicken Cilantro takes the cake as far as my 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. But there’s much more than cilantro in this recipe to support your thyroid health. Check out the details in The Breakdown, below.
This recipe was 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 family recipe passed down from his mother. Her name was Maria. I think of her every time we’ve enjoyed this in the years since, which have been many. Don’t be put off by the pungent cooking aroma. This is the best, most soul-nourishing kind of food.
I am forever grateful to Maria, a Mexican grandmother I never met, for the good fortune of adding her recipe to my repertoire. The simplicity and frugality of these old family recipes, passed down through the perfecting mechanism of use and time, are the epitome of an edible comfort that knows no borders. I hope you enjoy her recipe as much as I do.
Wishing You the Best of Health,
- Chicken is a very good source of selenium, which helps to regulate the production of thyroid hormone, convert T4 to T3, and protect the thyroid from stress.
- A 3 ounce serving of chicken provides 84% RDI of the essential amino acid Tyrosine, which the thyroid gland combines with iodine to produce thyroid hormone.
- The bone-in chicken pieces simmered in this recipe create a rich, concentrated bone broth, which is often recommended as part of a hypothyroid-friendly diet.
- Studies have shown that cilantro can help accelerate the body’s excretion of mercury and lead. Heavy metal toxicity from mercury has been linked to an increase in thyroid antibodies which are an indicator of autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s Disease.
- Garlic has many powerful healing properties which can aid or alleviate some of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism such as inflammation, cardiovascular issues, decreased immunity, and increased infection. It can also support the liver in its detoxification efforts.
- Because it is such a common trigger, avoiding gluten is one of the most agreed upon recommendations for a hypothyroid-friendly diet. Rice is a gluten-free grain.