We all know chicken is an extremely nutritious and tasteful addition to our daily diet. However, the way you cook it is also a significant determinant of its health benefits. Read ahead to avoid fouling up the fowl!
Don’t you just love munching on those deep-fried chicken wings? Head-over-heels crazy about those richly breaded chicken portions? Well as much as these chicken preparations might make you drool, they do you more harm than good, merely on account of the way they are cooked. Yes, no matter how nutritious, fiber rich and protein laden chicken is, if not cooked the healthy way, all you get is the taste as the chicken is almost completely stripped of its health benefits and such preparations introduce more fats and cholesterol into your system, most of which does not belong to the beneficial category.
So, what measures can you adopt in order to dish out healthy chicken recipes on a regular basis that allows you to include this nutritious food item into your daily diet without tipping the scales of health and nutrition? Well, skim right along this NutriNeat article to find out!
Healthful Ways of Cooking Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts are perhaps the most versatile parts of the entire fowl and can be cooked in a variety of ways for a range of delightful gastronomic experiences. There are quite a number of healthy ways in which you can cook chicken breasts without stripping them of their sumptuous flavor. Here are some methods that will give you some insights on how to include health along with taste when cooking chicken breasts.
Boil ’em! The best way to get rid of any excess fat from boneless chicken breast pieces is to boil them in a pot of water till they lose the pinkish hue in the center of the flesh. Once they’ve boiled sufficiently, take them out of the water and allow any excess water to drain away by either squeezing them or keeping them in a utensil that has a perforated base for some time.
You can use these boiled chicken portions in a number of ways – right from shredding and adding them to vegetable soups to making a healthy salad out of them. In case you wish to fry them, you’ll require much less oil and no added fats to prepare them. You see, keeping some boiled chicken breast in the freezer can come handy in a lot of ways!
Broil ’em! Coating boneless chicken breast pieces in a thin layer of oil, preferably some healthy oil such as that of olive, and broiling them in a preheated oven is one of the most healthful and tasteful ways of cooking chicken breasts. Take care to turn the pieces over in the broiling pan on equal intervals to avoid overcooking on one side. You can baste the chicken in any sauce or preserve of your choice while broiling. To check whether the inner layer has been properly cooked, slice the piece open when you remove from heat and cook for a few more minutes if you feel the inner recesses are a tad undercooked.
You can also grill, bake and roast chicken breasts for a healthy dinner option. As I said, chicken breasts are perhaps the most versatile part of this fowl and can be cooked in a number of ways for delightful results.
Healthy Styles of Cooking Chicken Wings
Chicken wings score second to chicken breasts as the most versatile parts of chicken when it comes to the number of ways it can be cooked to retain all its health benefits and keep unwanted fats and calories away from the dish. Although you cannot do much with boiled chicken wings alone, you can always opt for grilling, baking, roasting and stir frying when you’re in a mood to chew on some light crunchy bones.
As I said, it’s not a good idea to simply add boiled chicken wings to any dish (salad, soup, sandwich or any other preparation) but it would be a good idea to boil and drain them before roasting, stir frying or grilling as boiling kind of pre-cooks the wings and less oil is needed during stir frying, roasting and grilling. Pair it with a spicy sauce and there, you have one hell of a healthy killer of an appetizer!
Healthy Methods of Cooking Chicken Legs
Though not as versatile a portion as chicken breasts or wings, chicken legs definitely top the charts as the more favorite among all three! The reason lies both in their dressing (no need to render them boneless) and the ease with which they can be savored. Besides, there is quite a large section of the chicken eating populace that loves crackling on those broad chicken leg bones – I know, I do!
Now, the main challenge with healthy ways to cook chicken drumsticks, or any chicken portion having bones for that matter, lies in making sure that the bone and the marrow inside it does not remain uncooked or semi-cooked. As I have said before, boiling the chicken portion before further cooking eliminates most chances of inner areas of the flesh remaining uncooked. In absence of boiling, deep-frying is the only way you can ensure that tough portions like the legs and other parts which have bones get thoroughly cooked.
However, one good way to cook chicken legs without deep-frying them is to marinate them well in advance and then grilling them on a barbecue. Again, if you skin and boil the drumsticks beforehand, the flesh will absorb the marinade better, imparting a deeper flavor and allowing the bone, marrow and the surrounding flesh to get thoroughly cooked.
Those were some healthy options for cooking various chicken portions. Whichever chicken portion it is that you plan to cook for dinner tonight, make sure you skin it and boil it to remove all excess, unwanted fats. Also, this makes the flesh tender and eliminates the need to deep-fry or use additional fats for thorough cooking. Also, if it is health benefits you’re looking for and you have a low-fat chicken recipe in mind, you’ll have to give up on those high fat breading alternatives. Instead, you can use some delicious and aromatic marinades, sauces, a couple of grilling tongs and a barbecue to serve a platter of health-a-licious fare which even you won’t feel guilty hogging on!