Herb Grilled Chicken with Celery Root Puree

by Gavan on March 1, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Celeriac Puree

For the past year or so I’ve been posting weekly recipes on my friend, Doug’s (aka DR) fitness site, HealthHabits. He’s a trainer in Canada that since doing the recipes, has been cyber-training me. He’s all about the Paleo way of eating so I’ve had to tailor his recipes to follow suit. This is one I made a couple weeks ago for his site. Though I’m still new to the Paleo diet (feel free to give ye a few suggestions) I think I’ve a good idea here. What I really try to do with food, besides creating easy healthy recipes is to shop and eat sustainably and seasonally, which sometimes results in using produce not very well known. With all my recipes you are encouraged to use what ever is in season in your area, which might be different than my area especially because I’m planted in sunny Southern California, as I often like to remind DR. (Better not make him too jealous or my next workout session might be brutal!)

Since the Paleo diet does not include potatoes (ouch says the Irishman) I wanted to show you an easy substitute using what I know as Celeriac, often called Celery Root. It is a kind of celery grown as a root vegetable that tastes like celery with a potato-like consistency. Common across the pond, we use as mash, in mash or even raw, grated in salads. Here’s how it stacks up against the potato:

Celery Root*   vs.   Potato*

Calories                 42             118
Carbohydrate        9g            27g
Dietary Fiber         2g              2g

*1 cup celery root (155g) boiled, drained with no salt
*1 potato (136g) boiled in skin with no salt

In California we can get celeriac all year round but the season runs about October through April. As for the tomatoes, I didn’t think it was tomato season yet we received these lovelies in our CSA box. Feel free to substitute any in-season veg for the tomatoes if you can’t get locally grown tomatoes this time of year.

Serves 2

2 x 4-6 oz organic/grass fed chicken breasts

1 tbsp fresh marjoram
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 large garlic clove – minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 lemon – zested

2 medium celery roots (you’ll probably have some left overs but that’s grand!)
low-sodium chicken broth
S&P to taste


Begin by mixing all the marinade ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add chicken breasts and coat. To store, either place in a Zilpoc bag or cover in a bowl in the fridge. Turn occasionally to make sure all sides are marinating.
NOTE: This can and should be done ahead of time to get maximum flavor. I would suggest marinating for at least 4 – 24 hours.

To cook celeriac:

Top and tail celery root and using a small kitchen knife carefully peel the outer layer. (Top & tail is common chef lingo, which means trim the top and bottom.)

Organic Celeriac aka Celery Root Prepping Celeriac

Once all peeled roughly chop root in equal size pieces and boil in salted water (maybe a couple of teaspoons) until fork tender. Drain and return to same pot. Mash, add broth, taste & season.

I made the little blistered cherry tomato thingy by sauteing some cherry tomatoes on medium heat in olive oil under they begin to break down. Once they soften add a drizzle of red wine vinegar and a pinch of S&P. These will add a nice contrast and burst of flavor with the chicken and celeriac.

Farmers' Market Cherry Tomatoes

Preheat grill pan or outdoor bbq and when hot sear chicken on both sides. Cook to internal temp. 160F, 8-12 minutes approx. Let rest for 3-4 minutes after cooking before cutting.

Grilled Marinated Organic Chicken

Tasty and easy! Let me know how you get on with the celeriac. Cheers!

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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