Aussie wellness pro, Carla Oates is the Beauty Chef. Her signature line of gut-healthy, skin and metabolism supportive powders, tinctures and other health essentials have become a world-wide phenomenon. Carla knows that, while supplements and tinctures are endlessly useful, if our diets aren’t right, no amount of support will really get our guts in balance. 

In her book, The Beauty Chef Gut Guide, the author shares dozens of recipes like this cozy dinner below that are delicious, healthy and surprisingly ‘normal’ as far as health foods go. Fig season starts mid-summer — take advantage and throw a dinner like this into the oven soon…  

Baked chicken is my family’s Sunday night dinner ritual. It’s so easy, versatile and full of flavor, and nourishing for the week ahead. This simple yet delectable combination of fig, lemon, garlic and oregano has been used in Mediterranean cooking well before we knew about these ingredients’ benefits for our health. Lemons are high in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for fighting inflammation, figs are a great source of fiber and garlic provides a good source of prebiotic inulin. Carvacrol, the most abundant phenol in oregano, has a bunch of benefits too, and is shown to stop the growth of several types of pathogenic gut bacteria.

Fig, Garlic, & Oregano Braised Chicken
Serves 4

3 lbs organic chicken leg quarters
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 handful oregano, coarsely chopped
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, quartered
1.5 cups chicken Bone Broth, Vegetarian Broth (here’s her recipe) or store-bought stock
1 tablespoon raw apple-cider vinegar
3 ripe figs, roughly torn in half (only use if in season)

1. Arrange the chicken in a large, deep baking dish.
2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the lemon juice and zest, garlic and oregano. Season
with salt and pepper.
3. Pour the mixture over the chicken, rubbing it into and under the skin to coat. Cover and
refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 8 hours.
4. When ready, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/ Gas Mark 4).
5. Scatter the onion around the chicken. Pour in the bone broth and vinegar and drizzle with the
remaining oil.
6. Cook, uncovered, for 50 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through – the juices should
run clear when a fork is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. If using figs, add them for the
final 15 minutes of cooking.
7. Remove the chicken and figs (if using) from the baking dish. Place on a plate, cover and keep
warm. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan and simmer for 3–4 minutes, or until reduced to a
sauce that thinly coats the back of a spoon.
8. Return the chicken and figs to the baking dish and coat in the sauce before serving.

Looking for more dinner inspiration? Try all our clean, modern dinner recipes here!

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