There are so many methods of preparing chicken, and we are often hard-pressed to choose which one we really prefer. Deep-frying chicken in oil makes it taste good, but this introduces more saturated fat and cholesterol into the meat. Boiling chicken is probably the healthiest way of preparing chicken, but it’ll probably turn out bland and boring.
Grilling (or barbecuing) chicken, however, allows you to prepare something that is both healthy and tasty. “When grilling food, the fat on the meat drips off, making the food lower in fat and, therefore, healthier,” says nutritionist Vidya Bhat.
“When I’m cooking, it’s about tasting my food,” says TV chef Robert Rainford, host of Licence To Grill, a cooking series on the Asian Food Channel that explores backyard cooking and the methods of making food on a grill. “It’s literally about putting it in your mouth, tasting it and making adjustments on the spot to make it perfect.” To Rainford, recipes are just blueprints. If there’s anything you don’t like in a recipe, replace it with something else. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes in order to find the taste that best suits you.
1. Grilled Miso Chicken
- 3 tbsp light soya sauce
- 3 tbsp sake
- 3 tbsp mirin cooking wine
- 3 tbsp light miso (soya bean paste)
- 2 green onions – crushed and slivered
- 2 tsp ginger root, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 boned chicken breasts
- 16 chicken drumsticks
- ¼ cup fresh grated ginger
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 lemons, juiced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
- ½ cup mango chutney
- 2 tbsp mustard seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
Using a sharp knife, cut ½cm deep diagonal slashes on each side of drumstick (approximately 3 slashes per drumstick).
Place chicken in large, sealable plastic bag.
Place all marinade ingredients in small bowl and mix.
Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and leave it in refrigerator for minimum of 1 hour, or up to maximum of 4 hours.
To prepare glaze, strain mango chutney with fine sieve into small saucepan and warm over low heat with 1 tbsp water.
Mix in mustard seeds, and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat grill to medium.Oil the grill.
Remove chicken from bag and brush off excess liquid. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
Place chicken on grill and cook for 12 minutes, brushing meat with marinade every few minutes.
Turn chicken legs every 3 minutes.
PREPARATION TIME: 4½ hours of marinating + 12 minutes of grilling
YOU MAKE: 8 servings of 2 drumsticks
PER SERVING: 230 calories, 5g fat, 95mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 26g protein
3. Pine Nut Dijon Crusted Chicken Sandwich
- 8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups crushed tortilla chips
- 1 cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp liquid honey
- 2 tbsp Cajun spice
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
To make crust, combine ingredients in food processor.
Blend until a chunky paste has been formed.
Prepare grill by preheating half of it on medium-low heat. Leave other half unheated. Oil the grill and place chicken on heated part. Drizzle chicken with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste.
Once browned, move chicken over to non-heated side of grill.
Coat top side of chicken breasts with crust mixture.
Close grill’s lid and cook for 8 minutes per side.
Remove chicken and serve with spicy mayo (optional) and crusty buns (bread of your choice).