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Three (New) Ways to Cook Chicken

These innovative recipes are healthy, tasty, and very family friendly.
By Erin O'Donnell
WebMD the Magazine - Feature

The bird is the word when it's time to serve healthy meals everyone will love. 

Grandma was right: Chicken is good food. Tasty, versatile, and kid-friendly, chicken is chock-full of important nutrients and provides a concentrated dose of protein, offering more per ounce than beef or pork. In fact, 4 ounces of chicken includes about 70% of your recommended daily intake, says Peter R. Ferket, PhD, professor of nutrition and poultry science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. 

At the same time, "chicken breast has about half the fat of a trim piece of T-bone steak," Ferket says. The fat in chicken is less saturated than that of beef, so it's less likely to raise blood cholesterol levels. A thin membrane between the skin and meat holds moisture in but keeps excess fat out. To keep fat and calorie content low, remove any skin from the cooked chicken before you tuck in.

You can also think of it as brain food. Chicken supplies a hefty dose of niacin, which may protect against age-related cognitive decline, and choline, which supports fetal brain development suggests new research. Chicken also might reduce colon cancer risk. A 2005 study found that people who ate about four servings per week had a 20% reduction in adenomas (growths in the colon that can be precursors to colon cancer), compared with those who ate less than a half serving per week. That's a whole flock of reasons why chicken deserves a spot on the table.

Grilled Tuscan Chicken With Arugula and Tomatoes

If your family doesn't like arugula's peppery bite, try using milder mixed greens.

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
cooking spray
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, finely minced
4 cups arugula
2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium high.

2. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap; pound each piece to ½-inch thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

4. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill chicken 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done.

5. Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and shallots. Toss well with arugula until coated.

6. Place a piece of grilled chicken on each plate. Top with one cup prepared arugula and a quarter of the tomatoes.

7. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 259 calories, 33 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 76 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, and 401 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 38%.

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

The Asian-inspired sauce's sweet zing appeals to kids, making this a great way to get them to eat more produce. 

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