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Will seasoning chicken beat the battle against Obesity?

There are many battles to be fought when obesity comes to the table, but, there is one good and inexpensive food whose image could be easily changed, and beat. CHICKEN!

People view chicken as an unchallenged food, not only because it is inexpensive, but because it is usually very bland. Chicken pieces that are sold fresh or frozen are mainly breasts.  Wing, Drumsticks chops and tenderloin or filets are rarely bought for home cooking. Most of the chicken legs are exported to third world countries and sold for pennies, filets or tenderloins are now starting to be sold on their own but are not found everywhere. On the other hand in many countries, chicken is regarded as a very expensive food even though it still has no pzazzz. It is not chic to serve chicken at any social event.

In my opinion,
chicken could be the savior of many family meals, at a very low cost and with almost no cooking skill needed. Chicken on its own has no characteristic flavor; some people say the chicken they buy tastes like plastic, others say it tastes bland, and even the ones that buy the free range and unprocessed highest quality chicken say it can be ¨just chicken¨.

Chicken can be exciting, colorful, delicious…think of a piece of herb roasted chicken, a tandoori or a Latin onion and tomato smothered one. (translate the page on the top right hand)

The first thing that needs to be done is to wash chicken pieces in order to remove some of the flavors brought about different types of packaging. Processed, frozen and plastic bagged plain skinless chicken pieces can smell, taste and look like plastic. You can immediately tell when a restaurant uses processed skinless breasts the minute you see them. Some can look like the pieces nutritionists use to show patients  portion sizes. Some are all identical, look cloned, which feels like being invited to eat at the Jetsons (the TV show from the 90’s or to a TV dinner from the 70″S), to a person who is used to eating natural chicken pieces. Organic, unprocessed chicken needs to be washed and patted dry too.

The second and most important flavor defining step is to season the chicken. Chicken placed in a pan with salt and pepper tastes like salt and pepper. Even if you use the best oil to cook it. There are many ways to season chicken that will make you fall in love with it again. This means no excess pepper, no excess spice

and flavors that can come through when eating chicken. Flavors that are sensual, make you feel, smell, touch and taste a delicious food that you used to eat many years ago. It is not necessary for chicken to be organic, though I’d rather eat the organic ones, but regular supermarket whole chickens can be prepared in less that 3 minutes, refrigerated for the evening or for the next day. Place them on a zipper bag and simple bake the whole bird on a cheap baking pan, even a disposable one and enjoy a marvelous dinner for 4. Smaller pieces can be seasoned for 20 to 30 minutes or overnight too. Season your weekly portions and freeze them; then defrost them under running water or refrigerated during the day.

When chicken is seasoned it needs no sauce to go with it, it is delicious on its own. Serve it with a simple green salad, a baked potato and your choice of vegetable. Make the chicken be the centerpiece of your dinner and give your family the protein it needs. Leave them satisfied with a delicious meal and sit comfortably with them on the table.

Baking chicken is the best way to cook it without having to check on it. The same holds for chicken pieces and even chicken wings. Whole chicken and pieces with skin, which I cook with all the time, even if I discard the cooked skin, should be seasoned beneath the skin. If any poultry is seasoned on the skin, it will loose all its taste once the skin is gone. Also is the seasoning is placed over the skin, the chicken meat will not be seasoned at all. This is a simple TIP for all of us with palates that love tasty delicious food!

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Pachi´s Blog en Creative Culinary




Patricia McCausland-Gallo is a nutritionist, pastry chef, teacher, and food writer born in the Caribbean town of Barranquilla, Colombia. She has a B.S. in Foods and Nutrition from Louisiana State University, attended a School for Retort Operations, and completed courses of instruction prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration.