Global Aviation provides charter and premium in-flight catering services to the Portland area from the Hillsboro HIO Airport

Global Aviation’s catering department offers customized menus including Paleo-friendly dishes like Southwest Paleo Chicken Stew

Global Aviation’s catering team excels at customizing meals to individual nutrition and diet requests. Many health-conscious clients follow the popular Paleo diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, grass-fed meats and healthful oils. Elaine Frances, Global Aviation’s Executive Chef, is sharing her recipe for a delicious Paleo-friendly Southwest Chicken Stew. The flavorful dish has become a frequently-requested item on this summer’s flights.

“Our customers really enjoy Southwest Paleo Chicken Stew. It is even being requested by some of our non-Paleo pilots,” said Frances.


  • 2 large (8oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (free-range works best for a Paleo diet)
  • 1 ½  tablespoons of southwest seasoning mix
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 7-ounce can fire-roasted mild green chiles, lightly drain and include some juices
  • 15-ounce can organic diced tomatoes, lightly drain and include a little of their juices
  • 12-ounce celery root, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 red bell pepper – chopped (optional)
  • 1 zucchini – chopped (optional)
  • 1 summer squash – chopped (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro to taste
  • More lime juice to taste


Step One: In a shallow dish, season the two chicken breasts with salt and southwest seasoning mix (typically a mix of cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and smoked paprika). Squeeze the juice of a lime over the chicken and place covered in the refrigerator for two hours.

Step Two: Pat the chicken dry. In a large pot with coconut or olive oil, brown both sides of the chicken well over medium heat. Remove the chicken when it is browned, but still raw in the middle. Set chicken aside on a plate to cool for a few minutes.

Step Three: In the same pot, over medium heat, sauté the diced onion and the diced celery in a few more tablespoons of oil until the vegetables are translucent. Add the chopped jalapeño and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Step Four: Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Sauté the spices for a few minutes until fragrant.  Add chopped garlic and sauté for another minute.

Step Five: Add chicken stock to pot and bring to a simmer. Pour in green chilies and the diced tomatoes with a little of the juices from the cans. Add the peeled and diced celery root and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step Six: Add the almond flour and simmer for another five minutes.

Step Seven: Cut up the cooled chicken into bite-sized chunks and add it to the stew. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken and the celery root are cooked through.  Be sure to wash the cutting board, the knife and the counters – the chicken was still raw.

Step Eight: Add vegetables. Take the soup off of the heat, because the tender vegetables will continue to cook as the soup cools.

Step Nine: Adjust the seasoning. Add salt or cayenne if needed.  If you like a thicker stew, add more almond flour.

Before serving add chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice to taste.


More from Global Aviation’s August 2014 Newsletter


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