More Healthy Chicken Recipes
More Healthy Turkey Recipes
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, arguably the most versatile cut of chicken, are very low in fat, only 1 to 2 grams of fat per serving. When preparing, trim any excess fat from the outer edge of the breast. Conveniently, one 4- to 5-ounce breast yields a perfect 3-ounce cooked portion when you remove the tender (see below). But don’t throw those tenders away—freeze them in an airtight container until you’ve gathered enough to make a meal.
Nature seems to have had the casual cook in mind when designing the chicken tender. The virtually fat-free strips of rib meat is typically found attached to the underside of chicken breasts. They can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.”
Say yes to the dark side and choose chicken thighs. Boneless, skinless versions are great for sautés and diced up in soups, while bone-in thighs are delightful in slow-cooked braises and on the grill. Without its skin, thigh meat moves into “lean meat” territory; with a few easy snips you can remove any excess fat. The slightly higher fat content of dark meat is a plus, since it makes the meat more forgiving of overcooking. There’s also a little more iron and almost twice the zinc—not bad for a small increment in calories (177 calories and 6 grams fat for 3 ounces of thigh versus 138 calories and 3 grams fat for breast). If you want to serve one thigh per person, buy them at the butcher counter; prepackaged thighs vary dramatically in size. Ask for one 6-ounce boneless, skinless thigh per person. To trim them well, we like to use kitchen shears to snip the fat away from the meat. After trimming, you’ll have a perfect 4-ounce portion.
Roasting a whole chicken isn’t as hard as it sounds. Making it a regular Sunday ritual will not only provide you with a delicious supper, but healthful leftovers you can use to top lunchtime salads or fill soft-shell tacos. While store-bought rotisserie chicken is convenient and practical, each serving can have as much as 450 mg of sodium while the average home-roasted chicken has less than 100 mg. Even the unseasoned varieties have been marinated or seasoned with salty flavoring agents. People with hypertension should think twice before choosing store-bought. One 2-pound roasted chicken yields approximately 1 pound (4 cups) of meat.