If you’re following the keto diet, you may have ruled out chicken recipes because chicken is high in protein content that could throw your macro balance off. However, it’s important to know that not all cuts of chicken are equal. While a chicken breast might not offer you enough fat to fuel your diet, a cut of chicken thigh will! Give this keto chicken thigh recipe a go next time you’re looking to spice up your daily meal plan.
What is keto?
If you’re reading this article, you probably have a rough idea about what the keto diet entails, but in case you need a refresher, read on.
The ketogenic diet requires you to reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake considerably. The point of this is to encourage your body to use fat instead of glucose (aka carbs) as energy. Below you’ll find a breakdown of macronutrients for ketogenic diets:
Carbs: 5-10 percent of calories
Fat: 70-75 percent of calories
Protein: 20-25 percent of calories
We can’t deny that the ketogenic diet has been shown to have a significant impact on weight loss, but it’s also important to be aware of the potential risks involved with this radical nutritional approach. When first beginning a ketogenic diet, your insulin levels drop, leading to excess sodium and water shed.
Though this will initially lead to weight loss, it can start to affect your body negatively. Symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, a lightheaded feeling and, in some cases, constipation. That’s why always advise you to consult your doctor or health care practitioner before making any drastic diet changes.
Are chicken thighs healthy?
Many of the foods that nutrition experts used to warn us against have made a comeback thanks to high-fat diets like the keto one. Take chicken thighs, for example; these flavorful cuts were usually knocked off the “eat this” list of healthy foods because of their fat content. But, when you aim to consume high amounts of fat, then chicken thighs are exactly what your body needs.
When shopping for chicken thighs — or any foods for that matter — choose items with little additives. Go for whole, fresh foods over packaged foods. Even though they may have gotten a bad rap in the past just like poor ol’ egg yolks, chicken thighs certainly have a place in your next meal in the form of this tasty keto chicken thigh recipe!
So, what’s good about chicken thighs? While chicken breasts have been favored over thighs for years by health-conscious meat eaters, times have changed. Chicken thighs are starting to get recognition for being inexpensive, juicy, and super tasty. As a bonus, they contain a higher amount of iron than chicken breasts. Buying bone-in cut of chicken gives you a chance to take in more collagen.
Not into chicken thighs or can’t find them? Other good keto-friendly meats include:
Ribeye and T-bone steak
All of the meats listed above contain a decent amount of fat that will help you reach your keto fat goals. Just make sure to eat them with a hefty serving of veggies – greens like broccoli are your best bet.
Keto chicken thigh recipe with broccoli
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the keto chicken thigh recipe! It’s a delicious Asian-inspired dish that’s bursting with umami flavors. The sauce comprises of savory soy, sweet maple, fiery ginger, and nutty sesame seeds. These flavors come together beautifully and pair well with the juicy chicken thigh and crunchy side of broccoli. Follow these recipe steps, and you’ll have dinner ready in 30!
Sesame Chicken Thighs with Broccoli
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 400 g chicken thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 Tbsp sesame seed oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- ½ thumb ginger (grated)
- 1 clove garlic (grated)
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 head broccoli (chopped in florets)
- 2 scallions
- To make your batter, combine a large egg with a tablespoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch.
- Whisk it well and place your chicken thigh pieces in the batter. Make sure to coat them all over.
- Heat up a tablespoon of sesame seed oil in a large pan on a medium temperature, and add the chicken thighs once it’s hot. If the pan is crowded, work in several batches, and make sure you’re gentle when moving the chicken around and flipping it. If you’re too rough, the batter might come off, and the sauce won’t stick well later on.
- While the chicken thighs are cooking (about 10 minutes), add the broccoli to a pot of boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.
- Make your sesame sauce by mixing the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, sesame seeds, and the remaining sesame oil. Whisk well to combine.
- When all the chicken is cooked through, add your sesame sauce to the pan and stir to coat the meat. Let this cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- When the sauce has thickened and warmed up, serve the chicken and cooked broccoli together in a bowl with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced scallion.
If you loved this keto chicken thigh recipe and are looking for other keto recipes, we have some more breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas here. We also have meat-free recipes for the vegetarians among us. And, when it comes to close-to-keto recipes, we have everything you need in the app. There are yummy recipes like Ground Turkey & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms, Sesame Seared Tuna with Broccoli and Breakfast Egg Muffins. Try them out and tell us what you think!