By Jessie Price
When I first started dating my husband he lived in Incline Village, Nevada. Every time I visited, his housemate Patrick would rush in from work to fuel up with a meal before heading to the gym. Patrick claimed that he was on a “chicken and broccoli diet” that would, along with all of his weight lifting, help him get buff. His routine went something like this: he’d walk in the door, usually yakking on his cell phone, go to the kitchen, take a boneless, skinless chicken breast out of the refrigerator, put it on a baking sheet along with some broccoli, douse everything with Mrs. Dash and throw it in the oven. Then he’d go watch car racing on TV for 15 minutes and come back and eat. He was in and out of the house in 30 minutes most days.
And that’s part of the beauty of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They are the ultimate healthy, quick convenience food. They are lean and cook up in minutes. But what Patrick was overlooking was that they’re also endlessly versatile. In these four recipes we use them shredded in a Chinese chicken salad; diced and stir-fried with vegetables; grilled with Indian spices; and sautéed and served with an apricot sauce. Patrick may not have been working any magic with his diet from a culinary perspective. But he was onto something. Chicken breasts are just plain easy. And with delicious recipes like these, you may decide to start your own chicken diet plan.
Breast Reduction: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts range in size from about 5 ounces to over 12 ounces each. For recipes calling for one 4-ounce breast per person, look for 5-ounce breasts and remove the “tender”—the thin strip of meat from the underside (about 1 ounce of meat)—before using. Wrap and freeze the tenders; when you have enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken fingers. If you cannot find 5-ounce chicken breasts, use 8-ounce breasts and cut them in half crosswise.