I am a sucker for comfort food, so this recipe is very dear to my heart. There are a TON of Paleo chicken recipes out there, so the goal with this one is to make it a little more special than the others.
I remember loving chicken pot pie as a kid, and one of my favorite memories growing up was watching my mom prepare her own recipe for chicken and biscuits.
When I got a little older, she shared her secrets with me and we would prepare this delicious meal together. As an adult, I love it even more because I can include the best ingredients possible to remind me of home and reap the health benefits.
The magic flour ingredient we use as an AIP base is a wonderful prebiotic, which means it feeds the gut bacteria to keep them going strong. The bone broth included in this gravy steals the spotlight as one of the greatest superfoods we can include in our diet.
And, of course, the nostalgia of such a classic dish brings it all together!
Most Paleo biscuit recipes use nut flour and eggs as their base, neither of which are AIP. If you’re unfamiliar with “AIP,” it stands for the Autoimmune Protocol. This is a diet that is based on the Paleo template but also omits certain foods that have been scientifically proven to cause inflammation.
What is AIP?
While the basic Paleo diet template is great for most people, some individuals need mores specific interventions to deal with their inflammation and handle autoimmune disorders or symptoms. The basic Paleo template omits:
- Processed sugar
The AIP template goes a few steps further, following all the eliminations of basic paleo while also omitting:
- Non-nutritive sweeteners (like stevia)
While this list looks daunting to those embarking on it in the beginning, rest assured that there are plenty of delicious organic vegetables, sustainably-raised meats, healthy fats, and some fruits that can be enjoyed in abundance on this plan.
It’s much easier to look at this as a way to heal your body in the most holistic way possible, and have fun experimenting with new foods you may not have tried using otherwise! There are a lot more vegetables out there than your typical peas and carrots… and peas aren’t even actually a veggie!
Besides, the strictest rules of AIP are meant to be used as a reset and once the body has come to a more balanced place in the healing process, reintroductions of omitted foods can occur to see what works for each person.
It’s amazing how many foods you may be reactive to at first, but once they’re taken from the body for a little bit, we heal incredibly well and most people have a great time adding foods back in without any issues. It teaches a lot about how to listen to your symptoms and do what works for YOU.
How is this recipe AIP?
The Paleo diet works to eliminate common allergens found in abundance in today’s food. Paleo chicken recipes are usually pretty easy to come by since quality meat falls into the “accepted” category of the paleo template.
That being said, we can’t use those ever-reliable Paleo nut flours in an AIP recipe. However, we can bend the “traditional” cooking rules in another way by using cassava flour.
Cassava flour comes from yuca, a tuber similar to sweet potatoes. While white potatoes fall into the “nightshade” family, AKA not-AIP friendly, tubers like sweet potatoes and yuca are A-OK!
When yuca is dried and the skin is removed, it can be crushed to create an awesome starchy pulp to use as a base very similar to all-purpose wheat flour. It can even be substituted at a 1:1 ratio to all-purpose flour in many cases!
Keeping with the AIP trend, this recipe also keeps eggs out of the picture. These are a hot topic in the traditional Paleo realm because they provide a host of health benefits.
Unfortunately, though, egg intolerance is much more prevalent in the United States than it is given credit for. Because of this likely culprit in unmanaged inflammation, the AIP diet eliminates them for a period of time.
So that gave me the next AIP biscuit challenge – which I accepted and promptly beat!
To top it off, we use leaf lard which is excellent for making pastries flaky. Despite its strange name, leaf lard actually just comes from pork. Making sure your lard is sourced from pasture-raised pigs makes it a great baking option, as it can handle the higher heat far better than vegetable-based oils.
Remember those lovely, crispy biscuits at the local bakery that just fall to pieces with a crunch? Yeah. That kind of flaky.
And of course, if you are not following an AIP diet, feel free to use your favorite Paleo biscuit made with eggs for the base of this recipe.
Skip the homemade bone broth
Another kitchen “hack” we use here is bone broth protein powder in the gravy. Homemade bone broth also works, and can easily be made from the leftover bones of other Paleo chicken recipes (or this one, if your shredded chicken comes from a whole bird!) But if you’re in a time pinch, this powdered form will still provide the flavor and health benefits of scratch-made bone broth.
Some of bone broth’s all-star benefits include:
- Consumption of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. This allows for a ton of benefits in itself, including:
- Greater joint health & laxity
- Improved gut lining
- Stronger hair, nails, and skin
- Increased glutathione, the body’s main antioxidant that helps with detoxification and lowers oxidative stress.
- Improved immune system, thanks to the stronger gut from the collagen and the numerous vitamins and minerals in the bone broth itself.
Yeah, these simple recipe tweaks seem totally worth it for the health benefits alone! But to make it even better, this stuff tastes incredible and reminds me of the good home cooking I grew up on.
How to Batch Cook This Recipe
The good thing about Paleo chicken recipes like this one is that you can easily make a double or even triple batch and freeze the extras for a quick weeknight meal.
I recommend cooking the meat, veggies, and gravy ahead of time, then cooling and freezing them in smaller portions.
You can also make and freeze the biscuit dough in a separate freezer bag then thaw, assemble and cook according to the directions. However, they’ll taste their best if you make them fresh!
For a video tutorial of this recipe, click here.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, lard, or other AIP-friendly cooking fat
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut ¼ inch thick
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- ¼ cup high quality cassava flour (we love Otto’s Flour
- 2 cups bone broth or 2 scoops bone broth protein powder mixed with 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 cup high quality cassava flour (we love Otto’s Flour)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup lard or palm shortening (we love Fatworks)
- ½ cup water
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook onions, carrots, and celery until soft (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Add chicken. Sprinkle ¼ cup cassava flour and stir to distribute and allow it to brown slightly (about 1-2 minutes).
3. Add thyme and salt to taste. Pour into 1-2 quart baking dish and set aside.
4. Add broth and cook until sauce is thick and bubbling, stirring constantly.
5. In medium bowl or food processor, whisk together cassava flour, baking soda, and salt.
6. Using two forks or a pastry blender, mix in lard or vegetable shortening until well distributed.
7. Add water and mix with a spoon until dough forms.
8. Roll dough out on floured surface and cut into six round biscuits (the dough will be wet, so this may be tricky – it’s OK if your biscuits look a little “rustic!”).
9. Place biscuits on top of filling.
10. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.