By replacing the base of this bowl with cauliflower rice instead of the grain we amp up the nutritional value, while drastically cutting the calories and carbohydrates otherwise consumed.
Using frozen peas in this dish is important, as the steam they release upon roasting helps keep the chicken beautifully tender as it roasts.
Quick Pickled Onions
1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut into very thin half-moons
1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine vinegar
Spiced Chicken Bake
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) frozen peas
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes (about 1 cup/250 mL)
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seed
1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seed
1 tsp (5 mL) black mustard seed
Zest of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) water
4 skin-on, bone-in organic chicken thighs
1 Tbsp (15 mL) avocado oil
1 small head cauliflower
1 tsp (5 mL) avocado oil
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) turmeric
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) toasted sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In small airtight container, stir together red onions and white wine vinegar. Cover and set aside at room temperature while preparing rest of bowl.
In 13 x 9 x 2 in (33 x 23 x 5 cm) baking dish, add frozen peas, sweet potato, cumin seed, fennel seed, mustard seed, lime zest, garlic, water, and chicken. Toss everything together until well combined. Place chicken skin side up on top of peas and potatoes. Drizzle chicken with avocado oil before placing baking dish in oven to cook until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through and its skin is golden brown and crisp, about 45 minutes.
While chicken cooks, prepare remaining elements for bowl. Trim cauliflower and shred into pieces slightly larger than a rice grain either by pulsing in food processor or by grating on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL). Warm avocado oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté shallot until softened but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Stir in cauliflower rice and cook until warmed through but still al dente, about 3 minutes. Stir in salt, turmeric, and red pepper flakes (if using), and cook for another minute.
Divide cauliflower rice among serving bowls and top with warm chicken and vegetables. Garnish with some drained pickled onions, cilantro, and almonds.