One of the hardest things to do when you are trying to get fit is to eat healthy but still eat good tasting food. When one of your favorite dishes is crispy fried chicken, it can be especially hard. I can remember being overjoyed as a kid when my mom got out the old cast iron skillet and fried up a big juicy chicken for dinner. As an adult who struggles with weight issues, I know that yummy fried goodness is not the healthiest meal in the cookbook for me and my family, but I still long for that crispy, crunchy chicken from long ago.
You know the old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention”? Well here is the result of that necessity (my longing for delicious chicken dishes) and the inventions (great recipes!) that were created to satisfy that necessity…if you understood that at all.
Anyway, here are two of Roy’s and my favorite heart-healthy chicken recipes. Not only are they healthy, easy chicken recipes, they are both delicious! The first one helps me get over those cravings for fried chicken, and the second one, well it is just a delicious, “go-to” recipe for roasted chicken.
Yummy, Crispy, Healthy Chicken Recipe
- 4 cups panko crumbs, or your favorite unsweetened wheat or cornflake cereal, lightly crushed
- 1 medium garlic clove or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground ginger, or to taste
- 1 tsp. paprika (because my mom used it in her fried chicken!)
- 1/4 tsp salt (leave out if you prefer)
- pepper to taste
- 5-6 pieces of skinless, bone-in chicken (approximately 2.5 lbs.)
- cooking spray or vegetable oil spray
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place panko or cereal in a pie plate or wide mouth bowl.
- Combine garlic, ginger, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle chicken pieces evenly with seasoning mixture, then coat pieces evenly with panko/cereal.
- Place chicken on baking sheet, spray each piece lightly with cooking spray.
- Bake chicken for 45-50 minutes or until juices run clear. Make sure chicken is no longer pink inside.
As with all recipes, this one can be tweaked to your liking. Use whatever spices or herbs you like or have on hand. This one uses ginger which you may not care for. No problem, just omit it! You will still get crispy, crunchy, tender chicken that can easily be paired with a vegetable or salad, and a small baked potato or sweet potato.
Approximate nutritional info per piece:
Calories, 225; Total Fat, 2.5g; Cholesterol, 79mg; Sodium, 235 mg; Carbohydrates, 17g; Fiber, 2g; Protein, 34g
There is nothing better than a delicious, juicy, oven roasted chicken, in my humble opinion. This type of chicken is so easy to make, and best of all, not only is it great for dinner, but any leftovers can be used for casseroles and sandwiches. The possibilities are just about endless when it comes to roasted chicken leftovers!
One thing you need to note if you want this type of chicken recipe to be really healthy – after it is roasted, do not eat the skin. That’s where most of the fat is, so please do yourself a favor and just get rid of the skin. If you follow this simple recipe, you will not need it anyway. The meat is tender, juicy, and the flavors of the vegetables and herbs permeate the meat and give it a wonderful flavor all on its own.
Do yourself a favor when you make this – do TWO chickens! You will thank yourself later, as then there will be plenty of delicious roast chicken for those leftovers I mentioned above. You will need to double the ingredient list for two, of course, but it will be worth it.
- 1 – 5 lb. chicken, giblets/neck removed
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- fresh tarragon, 2-3 sprigs (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
- fresh thyme, 2-3 sprigs (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
- 2 tbs. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 tsp. kosher sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Place garlic, onion and herbs into body cavity of chicken.
- Tie legs of chicken closed with kitchen twine. Pull wingtips back so they overlap chicken breast. Tie wings down by wrapping kitchen twine around chicken and over wingtips.
- Rub oil over chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, cut additional sprigs of herbs into small pieces and sprinkle onto outside of chicken.
- Place chicken breast side down in a roasting pan.
- Roast for 25 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue to roast. Baste occasionally with pan juices.
- Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into thick part of thigh reads 175°. Total roasting time will be approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting into the chicken.
Approximate nutritional info per 3 oz. skinless serving:
Calories, 180; Total fat. 9g; Cholesterol, 64mg; Sodium, 300mg; Carbohydrates, 0mg; Fiber, 0g; Protein, 21g
Notes: You can use any herbs you like in this recipe - Roy and I also like oregano and basil. Get creative and try different ones! Use a heavy roasting pan with high sides, not a cookie sheet. DO NOT use yarn or sewing thread or other colored string – dyes and chemicals may leach out of this type of string – not good! Kitchen string can be found in most supermarkets. Also, make sure you let chicken rest the full 10 minutes before carving; the juices will tend to stay within the meat and not run all over your carving board if you let the meat cool slightly.
As you can see, you never have to sacrifice taste to eat healthy! These two recipes are easy, healthy chicken recipes that can help you to stay on the straight and narrow without feeling deprived of the good things you love to eat. When it comes to chicken recipes healthy is the name of the game here at Fitblogr.
I hope you will enjoy these chicken recipes as much as Roy and I do!
Gee, hope no one else ever decides to use that as a sign-off… :o)