Cracklin’ Chicken

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Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The past couple of months have been absolutely bananas. Between working my zombie drug dealer shifts at the hospital, zipping through Asia, throwing a book release party, and pin-balling my way around Southern California, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest to meet readers on my book tour, I haven’t spent much time at home with my family, let alone cook for them. So you can imagine my delight when Henry and the Os finally joined me in Portland and Seattle for the last few days of my book tour—and I was even happier to return home on Monday.

After dragging our luggage into our entryway, I headed straight for my kitchen. I was dead tired, but it had been a while since I whipped up a home-cooked meal. I was itching to fire up the stove, despite having next-to-nothing in the fridge. So what’s a lazy (but hungry) mommy to do? Why, fry up a batch of Cracklin’ Chicken (a.k.a. Lil-O’s favorite crispy chicken thighs), of course!

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Longtime readers of this blog (and owners of my new cookbook!) know that my younger son is a picky and headstrong little guy who wasn’t exactly keen on this whole Paleo thing. At the age of three, he almost ran away from home when the whole-grain mac & cheese disappeared from our cupboard.

The transition wasn’t smooth, but with persistence and patience, we got our whole family eating the same dishes at mealtimes. Obviously, compromise is a necessity, and I do my best to make dishes we all can agree on. When I ask the kids for suggestions, Lil-O always asks for Cracklin’ Chicken. (That is, when he’s not throwing out made-up names for imaginary dishes like “Big Buddy with a Ham Chuddy” or “Chewy Butt Stew.”)

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cracklin’ Chicken’s one of my favorite dishes, too. These crispy-on-the-outside, tender-and-juicy-on-the-inside boneless chicken thighs are quick and easy to prepare, and taste fantastic with whatever seasoning I have on hand—even if it’s just salt and pepper. And for those of you who care, this recipe’s Whole30- and 21DSD-friendly to boot!

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Some key tips for this recipe:

  • Buy bone-in, skin-on thighs—they’re inexpensive. Plus, the bones are easy to remove, and the crispy skin is what makes this dish. I vastly prefer thighs over breasts for this recipe—to me, breasts tend to dry out and end up more bland.
  • Use a pair of sharp kitchen shears to remove the bones. (Reserve the bones in the freezer for your next batch of bone broth!)
  • Dry the chicken thighs well, and season both sides of the thigh with salt, but ONLY the meat side gets additional seasoning and/or pepper. If you put other seasonings on the skin, it’ll run the risk of burning. Then, everyone will be sad. Tears are not tasty.

Ready for my fool-proof method for a crowd-pleasing, kid-approved chicken dinner?

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Forky Friday: 12/27/13

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Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Howdy, gang!

It’s been a while since my last Forky Friday, and in that time, our first cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, was published! I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see our labor of love out there in the real world, and to see the reviews that have been posted around the web. We love the comments and photos that so many of you have posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Keep ’em coming — we can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up!

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(In the meantime, if you have our book and like it, will you consider posting a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble? It would be a huge help, and I’d be incredibly grateful!)

In the meantime, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled links from around the web…

Back on Track

As much as I’d like to report that I’m still eating my way through northern Thailand, I’m not. We got home from Asia earlier this week—just in time for me to don my gay apparel (a.k.a. hospital scrubs) and start another week of graveyard shifts on Christmas night. I missed the usual holiday feasting…but it was probably for the best. I’d already enjoyed my fair share of incredible meals (and dietary off-roading) in Chiang Mai, and was glad for the chance to avoid further gastronomic temptations.

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If, like me, you took a nutritional detour over the holiday season, don’t freak out. An occasional indulgence won’t derail you from your journey down the Paleo superhighway.

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A Postcard from Hong Kong

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A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’m procrastinating.

Instead of packing for our flight to northern Thailand (which takes off in a matter of hours!), I’m sitting here in our hotel room in Hong Kong, tapping away on my laptop, answering emails in preparation for the release of our cookbook. (That’s right: our book hits (American) shelves and mailboxes in just a few days—and in fact, it appears that some copies are already making their way into the hands of folks who pre-ordered!)

I can’t decide whether it was a good or bad idea to plant ourselves half a world away during our book release, but I suppose it’s too late to start second-guessing myself now.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Besides, I’ve had an incredible time in Hong Kong. We survived the flight from San Francisco without killing each other, though I had stupidly ordered the gluten-free meals on the plane, which turned out to also double as the super-low-fat, high-carb meals ordered by fat-phobic passengers.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

By the time we arrived, we were starving and passing out—but thankfully, there’s no shortage of great food in this city.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The boys have been particularly excited about breakfast, and it’s easy to see why: the morning buffets at Kitchen and Café 103 have been marvelous.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Forky Friday: 12/6/13

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Forky Friday 11/15/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Eek! I still haven’t packed for our trip to Asia, so this post will be short and sweet. It’s still worth a read because the links are cool and I’ve got a sweet discount code at the end of this post. After all, you guys really are the best ever, and deserve some end-of-week savings, right?

Mel’s A Big, Bright, Shiny Star

I love this new video by my pal Melissa Joulwan on how to peel a grapefruit the correct way. It’s so soothing and illuminating. I want her to make more videos, don’t you?

Go buy her new cookbook, Well Fed 2, and make Thai Pink Grapefruit Salad pronto. And did you see that she’ll be doing a joint signing with me and Diana Rodgers on January 2nd? It’s almost to capacity, so go RSVP now

Yay for Russ!

I’ll admit it: I’m a celebrity gossip junkie, and am an avid reader of People Magazine. But this week, I have even more reason to be impatient for the mailman to deliver this newest issue ’cause my friend Russ Crandall's featured in it!

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Now I won’t have to hide the Sexiest Man Alive issue under the couch anymore when company comes over!

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Forky Friday: 2013 Holiday Gift Guide + Coupon Codes

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Okay, shopaholics: It’s that time of year again, when we burn off our Thanksgiving calories by trampling over each other in a frenzied rush to save a few bucks. After all, what exemplifies gratitude and elicits more holiday cheer than shoving your thumbs into a guy’s eyes so he’ll let go of the limited edition Lego Chima set you promised to buy your kid for Christmas?

2013 Holiday Gift Guide by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

To be honest, even if I wasn’t working night shifts at the hospital this week, you couldn’t pay me enough to brave the Black Friday crowds. Someone else can tweet about the looting and rioting at Walmart this year. I’m content to trawl the Internets in search of holiday gifts.

In fact, I’ve already been scouting out some of the awesomest presents available online:

For Cookbook Lovers:

As the right-hand navigation bar on my blog clearly shows, there’s no shortage of incredible Paleo books out there. You really can’t go wrong with any of the tomes listed on the right side of my website.

For example, this is the perfect time to grab copies of Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed 2 and Diana Rodgers’ Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go. At my very first book signing (at CrossFit Palo Alto on the evening of Thursday, January 2), both Mel and Diana will be joining me—and though we’ll all be selling our books at the event, it can’t hurt to stock up, right? (Especially if you can’t make it to the signing.) Keep your eyes peeled—details and an RSVP link will be posted on Sunday Monday (I’m behind…)!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But come on: What kind of terrible self-promoter would I be if I didn’t hawk my own cookbook? Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans hits shelves on December 17—just  two-and-a-half weeks away! Preorder the book at AmazonBarnes & Noble, IndieBound, and wherever books are sold. There’s a Kindle version, a Google Play version, and even a super-interactive enhanced Apple Books edition of our cookbook that looks incredible on an iPad or iPhone. (Nook and Kobo versions are coming, too.)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And get this: Between now and December 1, you can take an extra 30% off any book offered by Amazon.com by entering the code BOOKDEAL at checkout. Not to be outdone, Barnes & Noble is also offering 30% off through December 2 with the coupon code BFRIDAY30.

If my math is correct, that means you can get Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans for just $15.50—over 55% off the $35.00 cover price. Grab the deal while you can!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Book Release Party + A Giveaway!

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Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Book Release Party + Giveaway by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

[11/24/13 UPDATE: Whoa! The tickets for the party SOLD OUT in just a few hours! Thank you all for your excitement for our book! And for those who didn’t nab a ticket, I’ll be posting about my book tour events soon—hope to see you then!]


Got plans for the hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014? Don’t get stuck listening to your roommate complain about another New Year’s hangover; instead, come join us in San Francisco for the Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Cookbook Release Party!

I can think of at least five reasons you must come celebrate with us:

1. THE BOOK!

It’s our labor of love, and the reason we’re throwing this shindig!

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Book Release Party + Giveaway by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our book was a labor of love, and we hope you dig it as much as we do.

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And besides, we included butt jokes in the book.

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Book Release Party + Giveaway by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Copies of our cookbook will be available for purchase at the party (while supplies last!), and we’d be thrilled to sign ’em for you. We love this book, and can’t wait to share it with you in person!

2. THE FOOD!

What’s a cookbook release party without insanely great food? We’re going to pass around the bestest Paleo brunch bites this side of the Mississippi! 

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Book Release Party + Giveaway by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our friend Simone Shifnadel of Zenbelly is catering the party, and she’ll be sending around plenty of hearty, brunch-y appetizers. I also have it on pretty good authority that Simone’s famous No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake will make an appearance, too.

Plus, with generous food contributions from friends like U.S. Wellness Meats, Whole Foods, Good Eggs, and others, we’re in for some seriously tasty grub.

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Book Release Party + Giveaway by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

3. THE PEOPLE!

While you eat, you can mingle with your fellow foodies and Paleo nerds. What could be better? I mean, where else are you going to find such a large gathering of people who don’t eat bean burritos?

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Forky Friday: Thanksgiving Smorgasbord!

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Forky Friday: Thanksgiving Smorgasbord by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Today’s Forky Friday is all about getting you ready for Turkey Day!

Yes, I know Thanksgiving’s still days away, but it’s not too early to get crackin’—especially if your frozen turkey still needs to be thawed. Besides, the weekend’s the perfect time to get a head start on the ginormous feast you’ll be devouring come Thursday. Ideally, you can prep most of your sides beforehand so you can focus on the turkey on Thanksgiving.

Forky Friday: Thanksgiving Smorgasbord by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Me? I’ll be reporting to work at the hospital on Thursday night, so I’ll miss the holiday fun—but you can still enjoy the nomtastic Turkey Day menu I put together for you!

To recap, here are the festive autumn dishes you should prepare (or strong-arm your friends and family into making for you):

Butterflied Big Bird (Spatchcocked Thanksgiving Turkey)

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Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Citrus Dressing

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Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce

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Roasted Garlic Autumn Mash

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Umami Gravy

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Paleo Pumpkin, Coconut, & Maple Custard Cups

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But that’s not all! If you head over to my Recipe Index, you’ll find LOADS of other free recipes that are perfect for your Paleo Thanksgiving. Here are just some of ’em:

Brussels Sprouts Chips

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Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

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Pressure Cooker Braised Kale and Carrots

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Roasted Broccoli With Crispy Prosciutto & Balsamic Vinegar

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

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Umami Gravy

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Okay, gang: Thanksgiving’s just one week away, so here’s Part 5 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! Just tuning in? I’ve already got you covered for turkeyBrussels sprouts, cran-cherry sauce, and mash—and today, I present to you: a flavor-packed, make-ahead Umami Gravy! 

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Yep, this is a rich, thick gravy that you can pour on EVERYTHING. I love my Easy Paleo Herb Gravy and my Slow Cooker Roast Chicken & Gravy, but this recipe’s the one you break out for company. 

Traditionalists may scoff because there are no turkey pan drippings in this gravy, but by using bone broth or rich chicken stock, you can minimize your game-time kitchen chaos by making this gravy a couple of days before Thanksgiving. You simply reheat it just before you go into Feast Mode. (I don’t know about you, but this lady hates frantically cooking against the clock.) 

Plus, this gravy is packed with carefully selected ingredients that boost umami: savory bone broth, tomato paste, dried and fresh mushrooms, and fish sauce. Once all these flavorful ingredients have simmered, simply purée everything together and voila! Thick gravy! 

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Umami Gravy keeps in the fridge for several days, and is a great item to keep in the freezer for everyday meals. Just cook up your favorite quick-cooking protein and simmer it in this fantastic gravy. 

Ready for the recipe?

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