Chicken is a great source of protein. Protein is a nutrient needed by the body to remain healthy and strong. We can get protein from other meat, eggs, fish, seafoods and legumes. Most doctors would recommend chicken than pork or beef as one’s source of protein as it has less fat. It is also recommended to get rid of chicken skin as its skin contains a high amount of unhealthy cholesterol.
But did you know that the way you prepare the chicken can actually affect its nutritional value? How can you eat healthy if you are not cooking healthily? Here are three healthy and delicious ways of preparing chicken.
Stir frying or wok cooking is one of the healthiest ways to cook. Stir frying uses very little fat and the food is cooked rapidly so nutrient and flavor loss is minimal. You get delightfully flavorful and healthy dishes that are very easy to prepare.
Basics of Stir Frying Chicken
- Cut chicken breast into thin strips or bite-size pieces
- Heat a small amount of oil in a wok or heavy bottom skillet on medium high setting
- Stir fry the chicken until browned. This usually takes three to five minutes.
- Add vegetables and cook for five more minutes, stirring frequently. Remember to pack your stir fry chicken with vegetables loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as broccoli, carrots, peppers, celery, onions and garlic and then top it off with a handful of cashew or almonds.
Baking or Roasting
Baking (or roasting) means you cook the food inside an oven at a high temperature. The high temperature melts the fat off from the meat (yes, even those hidden fats) and these fats drip off from your meat. You will end up with a great tasting dish minus all those excess fat.
Basics of Baking or Roasting Chicken
- Remove skin from your chicken.
- Lightly rub the chicken meat with olive oil to prevent it from drying up during baking or roasting.
- Rub your chicken with spices such as pepper, oregano, thyme and paprika to give it a flavor boost without adding too much salt.
- Never roast vegetables on the same pan as the meat as your vegetables will soak up the dripping fat.
Grilling is similar to baking because food is cooked over high heat. However, grilling uses the direct-heat method where the meat is cooked over direct fire, usually a grill or a barbecue. The meat is cooked one side at a time and then turned when the other side is done. In the same way with baking, excess fat drips off the meat. Grilling gives the meat a different flavor because of the smoke.
Basics of Chicken Grilling
- Marinate your chicken meat at least an hour before grilling.
- Never char your meat too much; burnt never tasted any good.
- Avoid adding oil into your food during grilling, its natural fat will drip off and baste itself.
Use Healthy Oils in Your Cooking
Use culinary oils that are low in saturated fat and high in mono-unsaturated fat like the Moroccan Argan oil. Argan oil contains a high amount of unsaturated fats which can improve your cholesterol profile and reduce the risk of heart diseases.