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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tips when cooking with Chicken for low fat

  • Choose breast meat. This is the leanest part of the bird and has less than half the fat of, for example, thigh meat. Because of its low fat content, it's the only meat I ever serve Frank, and it's the only meat he ever asks for in restaurants.
  • Remove the skin.  Forty percent of the fat in poultry is attached to the skin and therefore can be easily removed. This is in contrast with other meats, where the fat is dispersed throughout the meat and not so easily removed.  One point, though.  If you're broiling or baking or grilling chicken, leave the skin on until you're finished cooking; otherwise the meat will lose too much moisture and become tough.  I've watched tests done at the Perdue Tenderness Laboratory in which they measured the tenderness of breast meat roasted with the skin and without the skin. The meat cooked with the skin retained its moisture and was startlingly more tender than the meat cooked without the skin.
  • Roast, broil, poach, or grill chicken instead of frying it.
  • Substitute low fat dairy products in recipes.  Use yoghurt or light sour cream instead of sour cream, and non-fat milk instead of regular milk. To be honest, the taste isn't as rich, but if you're watching calories and cholesterol, these substitutions make a substantial difference. For example, plain low fat yoghurt is  122 calories per cup and light sour cream about 360 calories, while the same amount of regular sour cream is 440 to 454 calories. Non-fat milk is 80 to 90 calories per 8-ounce glass, while whole milk is 150 to 160 calories. 
  • Replace oil or fat in marinades with fresh lemon or lime juice, or with wine or vinegar.
  • Broil with wine instead of butter.
  • Take advantage of non-caloric pan sprays.
  • If you're really counting every single calorie, you may want to choose Cornish hens rather than the older broilers and roasters.  Cornish hens and broilers are young birds and they bear the same relationship to the older roasters that veal does to beef: the younger the animal, the lower the fat content. For comparison, the white meat of a Cornish is 35 calories per ounce of cooked meat; the white meat of a broiler is 45 calories per cooked ounce.

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