June 23rd, 2018

From Our Table: For indoors or out, check out chicken

By Medicine Hat News on April 25, 2017.

With the start of spring comes that glorious scent of outdoor barbecues. I took my dog for a walk on the weekend close to supper time and could smell a variety of delicious meat grilling in people’s yards.

Their are lots of fabulous foods to barbecue and one common main course is chicken. Chicken is a staple in most households and is quite possibly one of the most versatile of all meats.

It can be great grilled or roasted ready to eat or used in a variety of dishes from soup to salad to satays.

A 3-ounce serving of skinless chicken breast provides about 165 calories, 25 grams of high quality protein and just 4 grams of fat. If eaten with the skin on the fat doubles to 8 grams and calories increase to 200 which is still low. Chicken also contains an amino acid called cysteine which helps with the immune system.

Chicken is extremely perishable but stays fresh stored in the fridge for up to three days. If chicken can’t be used in that time frame it should be frozen. Be careful when thawing frozen chicken. Never thaw at room temperature, put it on a plate in the fridge and allow 3 to 4 hours of thawing time per pound of whole chicken, individual chicken pieces will thaw faster.

Chicken should be handled very carefully when cooking to decrease the risk of salmonella contamination. Keep it separate from all other food. Use a separate cutting board and wash it, knives or anything that touched the raw chicken thoroughly with hot soapy water. If possible clean the cutting board with bleach as well but rinse it thoroughly. Disinfect all counters and wash hands well.

Here are a couple great chicken recipes, one for the grill and one for indoors. Enjoy the start of spring and remember April showers bring May flowers.

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Chicken Stir Fry with Ginger Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 Tbsp peanut butter

2 tsp white wine vinegar

2 tsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 Tbsp peanut oil

3 carrots peeled and sliced thin

2 cups snow peas

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2 bell peppers cut into thin strips

Chopped peanuts for garnish

Stir together soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger and hot pepper sauce until blended.

In a large wok or frying pan heat oil and add chicken, cook about 3-5 minutes or until no longer pink stirring often. Add all vegetables and stir fry until tender but crisp. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve with noodles or rice.


Grilled Chillin’ Chicken

3/4 cup oil

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp lime juice

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp red pepper flakes

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup sour cream

1 avocado peeled and cut into chunks

Mix the oil, mustard, vinegar, lime juice,cilantro and pepper flakes together. Divide this mixture in half and put half in a sealed container in fridge. Put the chicken breasts in a large zippered bag, add one half of the marinade and move the chicken around to coat it well. Refrigerate as long as possible preferably over night mixing several times throughout marinating time.

When ready to cook place on oiled barbecue grill at medium heat for about 7 minutes per side or until no longer pink in middle.

While chicken is grilling take the other half of the marinade and add sour cream and avocado, blend until smooth.

Put grilled chicken on a platter then top with avocado sauce. Serve hot.

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