Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ten Days of Chicken

"If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?"

This question always amused me. Am I allowed to say pizza? Because if so, then a pizza can be customized to pretty much anything. Basically, pizza is just a flat bread with leftovers, and the variations are endless. Am I allowed to say eggs in any form? If so, then I could boil them, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, I could add milk, flour to make pancakes, I could add ham and onion to make a great omelet, and so on.
What I'm asking is this: Am I allowed to do variations, add other ingredients? If so, then my answer is chicken.

Would I grow tired of chicken? Probably. But chicken doesn't taste a whole lot, and it's mainly the other ingredients that leave the taste. To find out, I gave my self a challenge. I would eat chicken for ten straight days, but it would have to be different every day.

Click in to read and see the result!

A friend asked if I could share some healthy recipes, and coincidentally I had begun a project of eating chicken for ten days straight.

Chicken is healthy. It's lean and low fat, and it has a high count of protein. This is relevant for us in the western world, as we usually get our dose of starch (carbohydrates) and fat. We seriously eat more carbs and fat than we need. The biggest part about eating healthy is to cut down on the carbs and fat. In essence, it's about eating slightly less. You could do this by eating slower, and you'll notice that you didn't really need that fifth slice of bread, or that third potato. Stuff like that.
Another part about eating healthy is to have a balanced meal, and I'm talking about eating equal parts carbs, fat and proteins. Well to a certain extent anyway. It's difficult to get it completely even.

The following meals are not accurately balanced, as they have a slightly lower count of carbohydrates than you need. This is good if you plan on losing a few pounds. But in the long run, you'd probably want to add a small bowl of rice, bread of any kind, pasta. But moderate amounts. Don't eat yourself full on rice and pasta.

All of the meals are fried breast fillets, and as you'll see there are ingredients I really like. The spring onion, for instance, is a returning favorite.

And maybe most important of all: All of these are quick and easy to make. Chop up your chicken and vegetables. Put it in the pan.

Day 1: Curry and Cheddar Chicken
This is fried chicken with curry spices, with spring onion and sweet pepper. Cheddar sticks for added alliteration. I'll say here that it's important to not throw all the ingredients into the pan right away. Different ingredients need different cooking time. The chicken requires longest time (depending on the size of the bits of course), while sweet pepper, if you want it crisp, will just need a couple of seconds.
I also encourage you to be active with the heat. I prefer to start off with high intensity heat, to get a crust on the chicken. Then I lower the temperature a bit, to get them cooked all the way through. I turn up the heat again near the end. I usually fry in margarine, but oil could just as well be used.

Day 2: Spicy Tomato Chicken
For this one I sliced the chicken in strips, added boiled, mashed tomatoes. Onion and a heavy amount of cayenne pepper, along with the mild banana peppers for flavor. This one would be perfect with rice.

Day 3: Mild Bacon Chicken
Not sure if the name was fitting, but this was fried chicken with black pepper. Fried spring onions, mushroooms and sweet pepper. Then I added a few spoons of cream. On top of this, bacon.

Day 4: Mild Tomato Chicken
This is similar to day 2, but for this one I made the tomato sauce separately. Completely home made, I boiled tomatoes, added finely chopped onion. Salt and pepper is needed in this sauce, and you could also add oregano or basil, and even a spoon of sugar. Let the sauce sit on low heat for at least half an hour.
Here's an advice for any pan fried chicken fillets: Salt them before you throw them into the pan. The breast fillets are already extremely lean, and you don't want to fluids to run out, leaving the fillets dry. The salt will contain what little fluids there are, making the fried chicken more juicy.

Day 5: Italian Chicken
Only because the chicken and mushroom are sort of white and the sweet pepper and peas make up the colors of the Italian flag. I also added a spoon of sour cream in this one, and it looks like there's half a finely chopped onion in this one as well.

Day 6: Leftovers
I wouldn't say I failed, but I did promise to make different kinds of chicken meals.But there I was: I made more than enough of the "Italian chicken", and I'm not one to throw away perfectly good food, nor do I like to store it in the freezer. So day 6 was leftovers.

Day 7: Sweet and sour chicken
Honestly, I wasn't completely comfortable with this one, as I added a pre-fabricated sweet and sour sauce.
It's probably not difficult to make yourself, but I didn't make the effort this time around. For the sweet and sour chicken, you'll see garlic, onion, spring onion, broccoli. I also had 1/3 of a box bamboo sprouts and 1/3 of a box of water chestnuts.
The broccoli should be boiled just a tiny bit before you add it into the pan. This would work best with a large wok pan.

Regardless of the pre-fabricated sauce, I was so content with this meal that I had another go.

Day 8: Sweet and sour chicken with cashew nuts
The same exact recipe, but I threw in a handful of unsalted cashew nuts.

Day 9: Taco Chicken
Well.. Not very creative this one, I had some taco seasoning that I added to the fried chicken. Works perfectly if you're into the whole taco seasoning thing. Black beans, corn, and grated cheese on top. Decorate with tomatoes and banana peppers. Serve with taco sauce and/or sour cream.

Day 10: Peppered Mushroom Chicken 
Not a lot to say about this one, except that mushroom (champignons) are awesome if you use lots of black pepper.

Even though I cheated one day with the leftovers, I consider this a success. I'm not even remotely tired of chicken after these ten days. Do I feel healthier? Maybe a bitr? Maybe a bit? Comments, questions, recommendations for your own chicken plates: Leave them all below!

Enjoy your chicken!

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