Our diets usually involve cooking with heat, which can result in high levels of Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs).
AGEs are known to add to increased inflammation in the body, as well as free radicals. Both of these conditions can cause cellular damage or cellular aging. When inflammation and free radicals circulate in our systems for prolonged periods of time, researchers have found that diabetes and cardiovascular disease can result.
How do you identify AGEs?
Anything that is browned, like browned meat, or food from the grill, are often sources of high AGEs. Animal proteins are much more likely to form AGEs while cooking. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables tend to contain relatively few AGEs even after cooking.
Fortunately, more research is coming out on AGEs and how to prevent its formation. For us, this means that when we cook foods with moist heat (instead of frying, sauteeing, or grilling), shorten cooking time, or cook at a lower temperature, we can reduce the amount of AGEs that are formed in our food. In addition, researchers have found that cooking with acidic liquids, like citrus juices or vinegars, can also effectively reduce formation of AGEs.
This Greek Lemon Chicken recipe takes two of those strategies into account, by cooking our chicken in broth (moist heat), as well as with lemon juice, to decrease our AGEs intake. And, it's really yummy!
Quick Greek Lemon Chicken
1 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs
3/4 cup chicken or bone broth
1/2 cup lemon juice (shortcut: use bottled lemon juice)
1 sweet yellow onion, diced finely
1 1/2 Tablespoons oregano
2 Tablespoons cooking oil (avocado, coconut)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (leave out for AIP)
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat a pot or high-sided skillet to medium heat. Add cooking oil.
Add diced onions to the pan, cook for about 8 minutes until soft.
Add garlic and oregano, stir to mix.
Add lemon juice, chicken broth, and chicken thighs to the pan. Salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon.
Increase heat to medium-high until the liquid comes to a boil, then reduce to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Turn the chicken over halfway through.
Tip: If you're adding veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc.) to this meal, shortcut even more by putting the veggies on top of the chicken after you flip, and then cover with a lid. You'll have a one-pot meal.
Round out the meal by serving this dish with a vegetable, like: cooked spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli, or roasted carrots. The lemon sauce adds some exciting flavor to these veggies!
Tip: Add leftover chicken to your salad for lunch the next day.