Chicken is a staple in most diets, especially when you are opting for diets high in lean animal proteins. Here are a few recipes that show the diversity of chicken; all are high in protein, low in carbohydrates and fats and exploding with flavor! Enjoy!
BAKED PECAN CHICKEN
2 1/2 ounces very finely ground pecans (3/4 cup)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
2 boneless chicken breasts
Mix the pecan meal and salt on a dinner plate. In a cereal bowl, beat the egg whites with a fork until foamy. Dip the chicken in the egg white on both sides then coat them with pecan meal. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400º 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Makes 2 servings
BAKED SESAME CHICKEN
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup untoasted sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts or thighs (but those are high in fat and calories)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Heat oven to 400º. On wax paper, mix the seeds, salt and pepper. Put the soy sauce in a small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the soy sauce to coat, then dredge in the seeds. Arrange in a baking pan and drizzle with the oil. Bake about 40 minutes until the chicken is done. Baste with the drippings once during cooking time. Quick sautéed broccoli, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts etcetera are great serving options with this.
Makes 4 servings
CHICKEN CHILE VERDE
3 pounds boneless chicken breast, about 6-7 medium
14 ounces green Mexican salsa
4 ounces onion, chopped, 1 medium
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Iceberg lettuce, chopped
Place the chicken in a slow cooker. Combine the green salsa, onion, pepper, garlic, jalapeños and bouillon in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken and stir a little to make sure that some of the sauce gets under and between all of the chicken pieces. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours. Use two forks to shred the chicken once it's tender. Stir in the cilantro just before serving. Serve over chopped iceberg lettuce and add desired toppings.
CHICKEN PICCATA WITH SPINACH
3 boneless chicken breasts, pounded very thin
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 small lemon
3 ounces fresh baby spinach, large stems removed
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish, about 1/2 ounce
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a very large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown 1 minute on each side. Make sure that your pan is hot enough so that the chicken will brown quickly and well in 1 minute per side or it will end up overcooked. I think that 30 seconds on high heat might be even better. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and the butter. Sauté the mushrooms, onions, garlic and capers for 5 minutes, then add the wine, broth and lemon juice. Heat through and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Divide the raw spinach among 3 dinner plates. Top each bed of spinach with a chicken breast then pour the mushroom sauce over everything. The warm sauce will wilt the spinach. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
‘Makes 3 servings
CHICKEN WITH PEANUT CURRY SAUCE
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 ounces cut green beans
8 ounces bell pepper strips
13.5 ounces coconut milk (1 can)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoon granular Splenda (or omit)
1 tablespoon lime juice
Cilantro and scallion for garnish, optional
In a 4-cup measuring cup, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients except the cilantro; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken just until the outside is opaque. Add the green beans and peppers; cook another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the sauce to the skillet with the chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Sprinkle with cilantro to serve and scallion to serve.
Makes 4-6 servings