Chicken is one of the most widely consumed foods. And why not? It’s chock full of protein and can be prepared in a variety of healthy ways without sacrificing taste. Chicken breast is the leanest part of the chicken to eat with about 1 gram of fat per ounce, but chicken legs and wings are a close second. Not only is chicken a favorite food for many, it’s good for your body too – that is if you know the secrets to preparing heart healthy chicken recipes. Fried chicken may taste delicious, but it won’t do your heart or your body any favors. Don’t worry, we’ve got all the details you’ll need to fix the leanest, meanest chicken ever!
For the healthiest version of these meals, use a boneless, skinless chicken breast. You could also use a skinless chicken leg or wing if it’s easily substituted in the recipe.
This is one of the fastest ways to cook chicken breasts. All you need is a tablespoon of canola oil, a wok or deep skillet and the ingredients. When you stir-fry chicken, turn the heat to high and give the wok or skillet a few minutes to heat up. To ensure that the entire chicken is cooked all the way through, cut the chicken up into small strips or chunks and cook for about 2 minutes. To finish off the dish, add your favorite veggies and stir-fry sauce. You can make many meals using this simple cooking technique – just substitute vegetables and sauces and this meal will never go stale.
Baking or broiling chicken is another healthy option for cooking chicken. Baking is usually a slightly higher calorie option, but it widens the flavors you can use to cook the chicken. When you bake or broil the chicken avoid using butter or cream-based sauces. If you’re broiling the chicken, coat the top very lightly with canola or light virgin olive oil. Stick to using plenty of spices and seasonings to spice up the dish instead of high-calorie sauces.
For broiling, place chicken about 5 inches away from heat and cook for about 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness of the chicken. For baking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
The great part about this method of cooking your chicken is that the process of boiling gets rid of any extra fat that may have been left on the chicken. Boiled chicken is always extremely tender and much easier to shred, making it the perfect way to cook chicken for salads, tacos and other dishes that use shredded chicken. To boil chicken, cover it in cold water in a medium or large pot. Cover the pot and set the heat to medium. Once the water begins to bubble, reduce the heat and let the chicken simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. To test doneness, make a small slit in the chicken. If pink, continue cooking until the chicken turns white.