Turmeric Chicken

Turmeric is so healing, so why not use it whenever you can? This turmeric chicken is a crowd-pleaser… it’s so good!

turmeric chicken

Every year there are a few foods that just seem to show up everywhere. Last year it was kale. There were kale salads, kale pestos, kale smoothies… And while I was starting to feel a little “kale-ed out”, I do still make some of these recipes, because, well, they are just plain good!

This recipe has no kale in it… It’s an organic, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free meal that will reduce inflammation in your body. And, the colors are bright and vibrant. So, if you eat with your eyes first like I do, you will be smiling even before you take the first bite.

This year, turmeric seems to be the “it ingredient”. And it’s an awesome ingredient at that! For years, I’ve been using turmeric to heal inflammation in the body. I bet you didn’t know that turmeric is actually a Chinese herb! (See below and I’ll explain it to you.) I’ve always loved adding turmeric to my smoothies and to pots of chili and to my curries, but now I’m expanding my use of this awesome herb into more everyday-type recipes. This chicken is one of them. Really, it’s simple pan-roasted chicken with a great turmeric sauce. It tastes a little Chinese, a little Indian, and a lot delicious!

You can make this turmeric chicken recipe mild or spicy. I made mine fairly spicy, mainly because my son was coming for dinner and he likes everything ridiculously spicy… I served it with a grain-free garlicky fettuccine and it was just perfect. I made enough so that there are plenty of leftovers in the fridge, which worked out really well because leftover chicken is just awesome for lunch during the week!

If you are looking for more recipes using turmeric, here’s one of my favorite smoothie recipes: Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie.

turmeric chicken
turmeric chicken

Here are some of the reasons this recipe is so awesome:

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. The creamy sauce in this turmeric chicken recipe is made with coconut milk, making it taste rich while healing you!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

Vinegar has anti-bacterial capabilities, can help speed up circulation, reduce blood clots, and can help with post-partum dizziness.

turmeric chicken

Turmeric Chicken
Recipe type: chicken, one-pan meal
Cuisine: Indian, Asian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This chicken is warming, healing, simple, and delicious... and it's made in one-pan!
  • 8 bone-in organic chicken thighs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos
  • 1 Tbs turmeric
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 lge hot red pepper, sliced (or to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15 grinds of black pepper
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. (Mine took about 10 minutes on each side.)
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk, liquid aminos, turmeric, and vinegar.
  4. When the chicken is browned, pour the coconut milk mixture into the spaces between the chicken. (I prefer not to pour it directly on top of the chicken so that it stays crispier.)
  5. Add the garlic, pepper slices, and bay leaf to the sauce in between the chicken.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let simmer for about 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Then, remove the cover and let the sauce boil a bit to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

turmeric chicken

Hot And Sour Soup

Once you make this homemade hot and sour soup, you won’t want take-out again!

Hot And Sour Soup-0852

It’s freezing here in New York. I’m not complaining, because the winter has been so mild, but the mild weather did stop me from making as many pots of hot soup as I usually do. This hot and sour soup made me realize how much I miss having a big pot of healing warming soup in the fridge at all times!

When I was a kid I remember getting hot and sour soup from the Chinese restaurant and we used to top it with those deliciously fried Chinese crispy noodles… does anyone else remember this? I’m so out of the take-out food loop now that I don’t even know if you still get those little waxy bags of crunchy noodles… But, this soup recipe is so good that it doesn’t need the noodles. Really. I did, however, put little dots of sriracha in mine at the end because it looks pretty and made it extra awesome.

The beauty of hot and sour soup is that you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. Did you know that the spice comes from black pepper? I remember being surprised at that the first time I made it… but this makes it even easier to prepare and to shop for.  You can customize it with whatever mushrooms you like (I rehydrated some dried shiitakes) and whatever seaweed you like (if any).  I added pork to this pot, but feel free to use chicken or if you are vegan, use tofu.

So, this week we kept this pot of comforting, warming, spicy soup in a big pot in the fridge for 4 days. We ate a lot of it. Like, an embarrassing amount. But it’s so good. And it’s so light and healthy. And it just makes you feel good. And, I also remembered another thing that happens here when there’s a pot of soup in the fridge all week. Today I went to take the pot out, got my bowl and spoon ready, opened the lid, and saw about 1/4 cup of soup left in the bottom of the pot. It’s like leaving one sheet of toilet tissue in the bathroom… ugh!!!! So disappointing, but so typical!

If you want to jump on the soup bandwagon, you should definitely also make a pot of my Butternut Squash And Apple Soup.

Hot And Sour Soup (rehydrated shiitakes)-0831

Here’s some of the great things in this soup:

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. Shiitake mushrooms are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

I like to use some type of seaweed in my hot and sour soup. I used nori in this pot because it’s what I had on hand, but feel free to use whatever type you like. Seaweed is good for your thyroid gland and your lymphatic system. If you have swelling in your body or you are retaining water, seaweed is great because it acts as a diuretic. In the olden days, seaweed was fed to people to get rid of goiters and tuberculosis.

Bamboo shoots actually make you feel better if you have overeaten and are feeling full and bloated or if you have diarrhea. And, if you have a hangover, reach for the bamboo shoots because they will help you feel better faster. This vegetable can also act as a diuretic, so if you have edema, this would be good for you.

Black pepper is a Chinese herb (Hu Jiao). It helps relieve vomiting and food poisoning.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

Hot And Sour Soup

Hot And Sour Soup
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Recipe adapted This is better than take-out. It's delicious, healthy, and so incredibly warming!
  • 1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in a bowl of hot water for about 20 minutes (be sure to save the soaking liquid to add to the soup)
  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos (or soy sauce) (you can buy aminos here)
  • ⅓ lb pork cutlet, sliced into thin strips (or use tofu for a vegan version)
  • 5 oz can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp (or more to taste) ground black pepper
  • 7 Tbs white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch whisked together with 4 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs nori krinkles (or substitute another type of seaweed) (you can get them here)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Optional toppings: extra nori, drizzle of sriracha
  1. Soak the mushrooms in a small bowl of water. Drain them and reserve the soaking liquid. Slice the shrooms.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the chicken broth, aminos, and sea salt.
  3. When it comes to a boil, add the mushroom soaking liquid, pork strips, nori, and bamboo shoots.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar and black pepper.
  6. Bring to a full boil, and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until the soup begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the egg -- stir continuously until it looks like egg drop soup.
  8. Ladle into bowls and top with additional nori and sriracha if desired.
  9. Enjoy!