As an autoimmune protocol recipe developer, you have to have a really innate understanding of flavor. How do you get spicy without peppers? How do you get umami without soy sauce? How do you get sweet without the overuse of honey and syrups? A lot of the time I hear of people getting bored on the autoimmune protocol or on an elimination diet because they don’t combine pantry staples and acceptable foods in a way that tranSforms the flavors into something else. I try to do that for you guys because honestly it really is a pain in the tookus.
I was inspired to make an AIP buffalo sauce because it sounded impossible. Again – where would the spice come from? It needs to be really tangy too and almost burn your throat going down (how nice). And it should be fairly orange in color to make it recognizable. The best (and really only) way to get spiciness on AIP is with ginger and onion. Ginger is surprisingly spicy, but the fresh stuff is almost too overpowering and aromatic. Ground ginger holds on to its spice intensity well without giving a dish too much of that gingery flavor and apple cider vinegar provides a nice neutral tanginess. Coconut milk, olive oil, and honey help mellow the vinegar a bit, turmeric gives this sauce it’s orange huge, and the fish sauce, garlic and onion provide the savory flavor. A finish with coconut aminos and smoked sea salt is the perfect hit of sweet & smokey at the end of the cooking process. See how freakin’ complicated it is to make these things!?
I’m not a huge buffalo sauce fan actually. It reminds of Pinesol-scented college bars, $1 Miller High Life drafts, and drunk frat boys hitting on me with orange-stained lips. Quite the picture. Something tells me you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. But this fragrant and healing version full of anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric changed my tune. It doesn’t taste exactly like store-bought buffalo sauce, but honestly I don’t want my food to taste STORE-BOUGHT. I want it to taste REAL. This skillet will still give you the tangy and spicy hit that you’re used to though!
I made my husband, the opposite of a drunk frat boy, stop work and try this skillet for lunch and he was thrilled with it! Since it got his seal of approval despite my buffalo sauce indifference (although I really, really enjoyed a bowl of this with him!) I knew I had to share it with you fabulous people too! Happy noms!
Nightshade-Free Buffalo Chicken Skillet
Serves 3 | Prep Time 10 minutes | Cook Time 15 minutes | Total Time 25 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet potato, peeled and diced
¾ cup diced red onion
1 lb ground chicken, crumbled
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 recipe Ginger Buffalo Sauce (below)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and onions to the pan and cook, stirring every few minutes, just until tender about 8 to 10 minutes. You want to ensure the sweet potatoes aren’t cooked to the doneness you would at the finish of the dish since they will be cooking a few minutes longer in the pan with the chicken. If they have reached doneness at this point, transfer them to a bowl while you cook the chicken then stir back into the skillet.
Add ground chicken to the pan and continue to cook until no longer pink.
Stir in Nightshade-Free Buffalo Sauce and simmer for an additional minute to incorporate the flavors.
Remove from heat and stir in the green onions. Serve warm.
Nightshade-Free Buffalo Sauce
Whisk together all ingredients in a small saucepan except the coconut aminos and smoked sea salt.
Bring mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes until the liquid has reduced to ½ cup. I pour the mixture into a measuring cup to ensure it has reduced enough.
Stir in coconut aminos and smoked sea salt.