As we enter the beginning of a New Year many people will have resolved to lose weight and with this in mind I am going to give you some tips to cook healthy chicken recipes that will flood your taste buds with amazing flavor but also help as part of a calorie controlled diet.
But first of all, here are a few fun facts that you may not know about the chicken.
There are more chickens on earth than there are human beings
A chicken bred with a turkey is called a "Turken" which has the head of a turkey and the body of a chicken.
The United States has 4 cities with the word "chicken" in them: Chicken Town, Pennsylvania, Chicken Bristle, Kentucky, Chicken Alaska and Chicken Bristle Illinois.
The largest amount of yolks ever found in a single chicken's egg is 9.
Anyway, enough of that and on to some tips for creating healthy chicken recipes. Chicken is a very popular meat to cook because its subtle flavors adapt well to many different dishes and methods of cooking. It is also high in protein and has less fat than red meat. Having said that, however, many Americans buy boneless, skinnned chicken breasts and cooked wrongly, these can soon end up dry and tough as old boots, which leads me into my first tip.
1. When it comes to basic cooking there are two different methods: dry heat and moist heat. Dry heat includes baking, roasting, frying and grilling and moist heat includes poaching, steaming, microwaving and slow cooking. When using dry heat for chicken breasts, use a high heat and cook for a matter of minutes. Grilled chicken cooks in about 8-10 minutes. When using moist heat to cook chicken breasts they will take longer, but only about 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the breasts).
2. Chicken crockpot recipes are always popular especially with working moms and nothing beats the smell of slow cooked chicken as you come through the door. In order to make these recipes both healthy and tasty, I would recommend that you use chicken thighs. So many people overlook chicken thighs and choose breast, but thighs are much more flavorsome and incredibly cheap. Remove all the skin and brown them all over in a pan before removing them with a slotted spoon and adding them to your favorite crockpot recipe. They will happily cook in a crockpot, retaining both moisture and flavor. Try adding some fruit like dried apricot or prunes as these work really well with chicken and help to bulk out the dish.
3. Try getting lots of flavor into your chicken, whether it be breasts or thighs, by marinating for several hours prior to cooking. A sweet and sour marinade consisting of honey, soy sauce, olive oil, and chill works well and if you pour the entire contents into your pan to cook the chicken, you will end up with delicious, tasty, sticky chicken which works really well with stir fried vegetables or a green salad.
4. Shake and bake chicken is another great way to pep up the humble chicken and keep the fat content low. You can make your own seasoning with a basic crumb mix and what you add to this is entirely up to you, but some good combinations include lemon zest and cracked black pepper, crumbled Parmesan cheese, or even some curry powder for a taste of India. Chicken, oven baked in this way, retains the moisture inside whilst becoming nice and crunchy on the outside and is always a winner with the kids.
Use these tips and don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with marinades and seasonings. When it comes to healthy chicken recipes the only limit is your imagination.