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Following the AIP diet and lifestyle has been such a journey for me. A process of transformation and personal growth. I’ve come to feel such a deep sense of gratitude for all the wonderful, nutritious foods out there. Foods that nourish. Foods that sustain. And I especially love it when a meal comes together that is both nourishing and satisfying. Like this Roasted Chicken with Cherries and Kale Salad!
There’s a lot I love about this dish. It can be enjoyed either warm or cold, which means it’s versatile. Then there’s the cherry sauce, which I could probably devour just as it, straight up, or slathered on other salads or veggies. So delish, and I love the tang of the lemon against the sweetness of the cherries. And then, to top it off, this meal is AIP / Paleo and Whole30, to boot!
I’m also very much into one-pan meals. While you will need a bowl for the kale and a blender or immersion blender for making the dressing, the food is cooked on one pan, in the oven.
One important note is about the chicken. No one, and I mean no one, likes a tough piece of chicken breast, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on the breasts starting at 30 minutes. Keep a meat thermometer handy and start checking for that 160 degrees at 30 minutes. 40 minutes is the longest it has taken me and that was for two HUGE chicken breasts. Also, don’t skip the dollop of healthy fat on top of each – that increases moisture and tenderness.
This dish can be doubled or even tripled to make ahead and freeze (the chicken and sauce can be – but NOT the kale! It’ll be a sad and wilted salad if you try and freeze the kale beforehand)!
Speaking of kale, did you know it can benefit greatly from a little massage? Just simply take handfuls of it and massage between your hands. The process takes only a few minutes but makes softens the kale and reduces any bitterness.
Share this Roasted Chicken with Cherries and Kale Salad with your friends for a potluck, or make it for easy lunches for the kiddos.
I also highly recommend rounding out this dish by roasting some cubed butternut squash or sweet potato on the same pan as the chicken for ~20 minutes.
What You’ll Need for This Recipe:
- Highly recommend sea salt – a bag lasts me for months (and believe me I go through a lot of salt)!
- Looking for avocado oil? I like this one – but, if you live near a Marshalls or T J Maxx, check there! They often have avocado oil at a really reasonable price.
Enjoy this Roasted Chicken with Cherries and Kale now, or Pin for later!
Roasted Chicken with Cherries and Kale
Oven-roasted chicken breasts are given some pizzazz with a cherry dressing and served over a bed of kale.
- 2 large chicken breasts
- sea salt
- 1 Tbsp tallow, lard, coconut, avocado, or duck (except for olive, which is not meant for high heat cooking)
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries (if frozen, defrost first)
- 1 juice and zest lemon
- 1/2 tsp cilantro
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup cherries (if frozen can be left that way)
- 1 medium to large bunch kale
Preheat oven to 400. Clean and dry chicken breasts, then, lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle salt on each side. Spread the Tbsp healthy fat like coconut oil or duck fat on breasts.
Make the dressing: blend avocado oil, cherries, lemon, cilantro and sea salt.
Pour a little less than half the dressing over the chicken.
Spread the 1/2 cup of cherries around breasts. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping at 15* and checking the internal temp at 30 minutes (160 is done) to avoid drying out the breasts.
While chicken is baking, massage kale. While this skip may seem tedious, it takes just a couple of minutes and is worth it, in my opinion! Doing so reduces any bitterness in the leaves.
When internal temp reaches 160 degrees, remove breasts from oven. If you desire a carmelized flavor, turn oven to Broil and cook for just ~2 minutes more (keeping an eye to make sure it doesn't burn)!
Slice chicken (or, alternatively, shred). Toss kale with remaining dressing and add cherries, tossing well to incorporate, before topping with chicken. Enjoy!!