This recipe for Turmeric Chicken is super simple to make with only a few basic spices you probably already have in the cabinet. It adds a wonderful flavour and vibrant pop of colour to any dish!
Man, I’m not gonna lie. I really can’t believe this is pretty much my first ever Turmeric forward recipe published to the blog. I mean, sure, I’ve used it as an ingredient in recipes I’ve posted before which is honestly inevitable since I’d go as far as to call it one of the most used spices in my kitchen. It makes an appearance in these Zucchini Turkey Burgers and these Air Fryer Chickpea Patties, for example, but is it the shining star in those dishes as it is in this recipe for Turmeric Chicken?! Not quite. And for the amount of Turmeric Lattes ya gal drinks per Winter season, it really is a shock that this is my first time shouting from the rooftops just how much I love the dang spice!
Of all the ways I love eating turmeric, chicken has got to be up there as one of my favourites! It makes it super flavourful, it’s so easy to make and obviously, the colour is undeniably gorgeous! This Turmeric Chicken is great on it’s own served up alongside all your favourite side dishes such as rice or veggies. Or, make it the star and use it on top of salads or bowls, sandwiches or wraps or as part of meals such as stir frys or quesadillas. All I know is that it’s guaranteed to be absolutely delicious either way!
SO, WHAT IS TURMERIC GOOD FOR?
Other than turning everything it touches into the most vibrant yellow colour you ever did see, Turmeric is good for so many things! It adds flavour to foods, is rich in antioxidants such as Vitamins C and B6 and is an excellent source of dietary fibre, Omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, iron and manganese. Turmeric is full of anti-inflammatory properties which makes it good for conditions involving the upper respiratory tract, joints, the digestive system and the skin.
PRO TIP: If you’re not used to using turmeric and don’t often add it to your foods, you might find it’s taste a bit overpowering and alarming at first. Start with small increments and then gradually increase adding more over time as you get used to the taste.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS TURMERIC CHICKEN RECIPE
You only need a few simple ingredients – most of which are basic pantry spices – to make this gut healthy Turmeric Chicken. So, let’s discuss them in a little bit more detail down below:
- Chicken: I love using boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe since that makes it super easy and versatile to use in just about any dish. However, since we are essentially forming a bit of a turmeric paste, you can use it as a marinade or sauce for any cut of chicken. Obviously, you’ll have to adjust the cooking time if you choose to use something other than boneless, skinless breasts.
- Turmeric: The star spice/ingredient for this recipe for Turmeric Chicken. It adds flavour, nutrients and makes this chicken bright, vibrant and *almost* too beautiful to eat. I mean, have you ever seen a chicken breast THIS pretty?! Therefore, ground turmeric (not fresh) is what we use in this recipe.
- Ginger: Adds an Earthy, almost spicy-ish bite to this recipe for Turmeric Chicken. Ground ginger works best in this recipe.
- Onion Powder: Adds a light onion-y taste to this Turmeric Chicken. And yes, onion powder (not fresh onion) is what we’re going for in this recipe.
- Pepper: Adds flavour and a delicious pepper-y bite to this Turmeric Chicken recipe. Black pepper is known to work nicely alongside turmeric, enhancing it’s absorption by up to 2000%.
- Salt: Adds flavour and balance to the dish. Also helps make the other spices pop.
- Coconut Oil: Not only does the coconut oil add the perfect flavour to the turmeric marinade but it also creates a sort of “crust” around the chicken as it hardens. Normally I’d go ahead and say you can use a different kind of oil or even butter if you so desire but because of this glorious crust situation, do your best to stick to using coconut oil. That crust (which you can see more clearly in the photos in the recipe card down below) is key, IMHO, to this recipe for Turmeric Chicken tasting as good as it does! Therefore, melted coconut oil works best in this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE TURMERIC CHICKEN FROM SCRATCH (KEY TIPS)
- Turmeric stains! Just as vibrant and colourful as it made this chicken, it’ll make your hands, clothes, cutting board or just about anything it touches! Take care and be mindful when using it.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking, staining and help with eas(ier) clean-up.
- Do your best to use as similar size chicken breasts as possible in both thickness and weight to ensure even cooking in the same amount of time. If you need to, use a meat mallet, to pound your chicken breasts out to your desired size/thickness.
- Use a basting brush to get the turmeric mixture all over the chicken. Again, the absolute last thing you want to do is touch it (unless you’re disposable wearing gloves). You want to get the turmeric paste allllll over the chicken. On both the front and back and in every nook and cranny you can get it. Using a brush will make this job easy, peasy.
- Make sure to combine the spices and coconut oil are super well before brushing it on the chicken. You want the flavours to be evenly dispersed and well balanced all the way throughout.
- Work quickly. And I mean QUICKLY after making the turmeric paste and brushing the chicken. The coconut oil will harden the longer it sits making it super hard to work the longer you take (no pressure, lol). You want to ensure you’re brushing the chicken and placing it down on the rimmed baking sheet while the mixture is still soft and spreadable. EXTRA TIP: The hard coconut oil will form a sort of “crust” on the chicken (see photos in the recipe card down below for details) which is not only completely normal but is a huge part of why this chicken is so delicious. However, the crust can easily break into pieces so that’s why working quickly is super important.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before cutting and serving. This will allow it to retain it’s juices and maximum flavour.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that comes from the flowering plant Curcuma Longa. It’s native to India and Southeast Asia but it’s a popular ingredient in cooking worldwide. It adds flavour, nutrition, colour and vibrancy to food, has anti-inflammatory properties and is full of antioxidants. You can buy turmeric in most grocery stores. It comes in many varieties, however, ground and fresh are two of the most popular.
Turmeric has a warm, rich and slightly bitter taste. If you’re not used to eating turmeric or don’t often cook with it, I recommend starting small and gradually increasing the amount as time goes on in order to avoid it becoming overpowering.
You can store any leftover Turmeric Chicken in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It’ll be good for 3-4 days. You know what that means?! This Turmeric Chicken is a good meal prep option! So, make a big batch for easy additions to any meal throughout the week.
This recipe for Turmeric Chicken is so good on its own with all your favourite side dishes. You just know it’s going to be great next to some roasted Greek potatoes, some air fried brussels sprouts, this creamy cauliflower mash or these simple grilled cabbage steaks.
This Turmeric Chicken can also be the star on anything from salads and bowls to stir frys and sandwiches. It’s perfect on this kale caesar salad, this butternut squash salad or this cauliflower fried ‘rice’.
- 2 large boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If necessary, place the chicken breasts in between a piece of parchment paper and pound thin, using a meat mallet.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, turmeric, onion powder, salt, ginger and pepper until well combined. This should form a bit of a paste.
- Working quickly (as the coconut oil will harden and become difficult to work with if you don't), brush each side of the chicken breasts with the paste, being sure to cover the entire surface, both back and front. The coconut oil will form a bit of a "crust" around the chicken, as seen below.
- Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (165°F on a meat thermometer), flipping halfway through to ensure even cooking. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 267Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 671mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 37g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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