This recipe is from The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook by Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE

Whole real foods include both plant and animal products. Move away from boneless, skinless meats and focus on whole forms where you can imagine it growing. Cooking with bone-in, skin-on chicken provides more glycine, proline, and collagen for relaxation and improved sleep, plus it balances out amino acids. This skillet recipe uses drippings to make an incredible white wine–coconut–herb gravy that is thickened with gelatin to further boost gut lining and digestive health. The prebiotic fibers in Brussels sprouts and leeks also fuel your microbiome!

Makes: 6 (8-ounce) servings | Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes | Cook time: 40 to 45 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced from white to light green (about ½ cup)
  • ⅔ cup chicken bone broth, divided
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped, divided (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine (I use a dry chardonnay)
  • juice of ½ to 1 lemon, to taste
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat two 12-inch cast-iron skillets over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of lard to each pan.

2. As the lard is melting, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper on both sides of the chicken thighs. Place the chicken thighs skin-side up in one skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 4 minutes skin-side down.

3. At the same time, add the Brussels sprouts and leeks to the second skillet, stir until coated in fat, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir every 2 minutes for about 6 minutes total. This creates a nice caramelization on the sprouts. Add ⅓ cup of broth to reduce browning of the pan and allow to reduce for 1 to 2 minutes, then top with thyme and stir to combine.

4. After the broth reduces in the Brussels sprouts skillet, add the chicken to the vegetables, placing the skinside up on top of the mixture. Top with 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary and place on the middle rack of the oven for 22 to 25 minutes.

5. While chicken thighs are baking, add the garlic to the chicken skillet and reduce the drippings over low heat, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

6. Add the white wine to reduce browning and simmer on low, scraping the pan occasionally, for another 3 to 5 minutes until the wine reduces to about half its volume.

7. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, remaining broth, and ½ cup coconut milk, whisking to combine every minute or so for 9 to 10 minutes. Add about ¾ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary to the mixture and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes.

8. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon coconut milk with 1 teaspoon gelatin. Pour the gelatin–coconut milk mixture into the sauce in the pan and whisk continuously for 1 minute.

9. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes without disturbing. Stir once more and then turn off the heat and let sauce thicken slightly prior to serving. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

10. Once chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F, around 25 minutes, remove pan from oven and allow to rest 2 to 3 minutes.

11. Pour the pan sauce on top of the chicken thighs, top with remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary, and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving
Calories: 610 | Carbohydrates: 10g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 41g

Find out how to get started with the Anti-Anxiety Diet here.