Tuscan Chicken

June 13, 2012 at 09:21

Little Miss Sicky Poo


I made this dish yesterday for a group of lovely ladies and it was a big hit.  This recipe is a primal version of the traditional Italian Tuscan chicken dish.  I used Rachel Ray’s recipe and made a few modifications and I ditched the flour and instead opted for tapioca starch.  This is a great alternative to flour when you’re looking for a thickener for sauces. Some recipes can be easily “primalized” just by swapping one for the other.  Just be aware that you need a lot less tapioca flour than you need flour.  For example, if a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of flour, I will typically start with about 1 tsp. of tapioca flour, allow the sauce to thicken for a bit and then add more if I’m not satisfied with the consistency.

If you’re unfamiliar with tapioca flour, it is made from the cassava root which is a starchy tropical vegetable that is widely grown in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Here’s a picture of it in its natural form…

On www.marksdailyapple.com, Mark Sisson says, “Tapioca flour is one of the “safe starches.” That is, it’s a toxin-free, antinutrient-less, dense source of carbohydrate. I wouldn’t exactly compare it to coconut flour, which is extremely high in fiber, low in digestible carbs, and really soaks up the liquid in a recipe. Tapioca flour can be treated more like potato or rice starch. It’s a classic carby flour, albeit one without gluten and other noted toxins.”

Don’t bother trying to find it in the local grocery store.  Chances are they’ve never even heard of the stuff.  If you’re interested in trying it out, your best bet is to look online or go to your local health food or whole foods market.

Ok, so enough with the background and onto the recipe…


  • 2lbs. boneless chicken thighs (I use skinless)
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 3 tbs. white vinegar
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 2 shallots (sliced into rings)
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary (I just throw them in whole because they look so nice that way 🙂
  • 1-2 tsp. tapioca flour (depending on how thick you want the sauce)
  • 1 cup dry white wine or cooking sherry
  • 1 cup beef broth


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides
  • Add garlic to the pan and brown chicken on both sides (you may have to do this in 2 batches)
  • Remove chicken from pan and set aside
  • Add vinegar to the pan and let sizzle until into is almost evaporated
  • Add butter, shallots and rosemary to the pan and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add tapioca flour and cook for 1 minute
  • Whisk in cooking sherry or wine and allow to reduce and thicken for a minute or two
  • Whisk in broth and bring to a low boil
  • Return chicken to the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through

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