November 21st, 2019

From Our Table: Chill that chicken

By Joanne Smith on May 21, 2019.

Photo courtesy of Peanut Bureau of Canada
A chicken stir fry with ginger peanut sauce is a fast meal to cook and is packed with nutrients.

Chicken is a staple in many households. When I was pregnant with my last son Benjamin, the famed guest writer, I was extremely nauseous off and on throughout the pregnancy. Lemons were a big help but red meat, especially raw ground beef made me feel ill just glancing its way.

Consequently we ate a lot of chicken for a few months. So much chicken in fact that my other three boys called everything chicken – pork, roast beef, sausages. Every meat in their world was chicken. It became a very funny inside joke in our family that we still talk about.

Chicken is a great protein option and is very versatile. It can be great grilled or roasted ready to eat or used in a variety of dishes from soup to salad to satays.

Here’s some helpful information about chicken:

– 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 of the 2 ounce portion doubles to 8 grams and calories increase to 200 which is still fairly 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 to thaw.

– A good rule of thumb for thawing time is to allow three to four 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, taps and anything that may have been touched and wash hands well.

We recently made a chicken stir fry in our Food First Group that I lead once a week through the food bank. It was absolutely delicious! It reminded me how fast stir fry is to cook and how nutrient packed it is. Stir fry is also very versatile and you can put in your choice of veggie combos or just whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand.

To help you out with your next chicken stir fry here is a perfectly peanutty recipe I found from the Peanut Bureau. They have many mouthwatering recipes at http://www.peanutbureau.ca. It’s sure to be a hit with everyone you share it with.

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.

Serves 4

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