When it comes to chicken, there's no denying that chicken breast is the ultimate quick, healthy convenience food. Since I haven't had much time to cook lately, I tried some new chicken breast recipes last week and was pleasantly surprised. With the help of a savory sauce or spice rub, chicken breast can deliver tons of satisfying flavors.
Here are a few of my new favorite chicken breast recipes:
Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry (see recipe below): Spiked with lots of zesty lemon, this delectable chicken stir-fry has a colorful mix of snow peas, carrots and scallions. But feel free to substitute other thinly sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini. Serve with: Rice noodles or brown rice.
Ham-&-Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts (click for recipe): Making a pocket in the chicken breast to hold the stuffing is easy with a good, sharp, thin-bladed knife. Browning the chicken in a skillet before baking gives it a beautiful golden color, and finishing in the oven ensures that it cooks evenly throughout.
Chinese Chicken & Noodle Salad (click for recipe): This delicious Chinese-inspired salad is crisp, crunchy and cool with shredded cabbage, carrots and chicken breast tossed with toasted ramen noodles and slivered almonds. The dressing is an addictive orange, sesame, ginger and soy combination-you may want to double the dressing and save some for a salad the next day.
Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas (click for recipe): Make a perfect summer supper: grill spice-rubbed chicken breasts and tuck them into whole-wheat pitas along with fresh vegetables and a tangy yogurt sauce. Serve with: Grilled vegetables and a pilsner.
Seared Chicken with Apricot Sauce (click for recipe): Fresh apricots, white wine, apricot preserves and tarragon combine in a quick sauce that's delicious on chicken. We pound the chicken thin so that it cooks in just a couple of minutes. Let this basic recipe inspire you to create your own variations. Try different combinations of wine (or even fruit juice with a touch of vinegar) and other fruits and preserves. Serve with: Quinoa or brown rice and sautéed spinach.
Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
Healthy Weight Lower Carbs Healthy Heart
Active time: 40 minutes | Total: 40 minutes
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
10 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots (1/4 inch thick)
2 cups snow peas (6 ounces), stems and strings removed
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts divided
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest and set aside. Juice the lemon and whisk 3 tablespoons of the juice with broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs. Add mushrooms and carrots to the pan and cook until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add snow peas, scallion whites, garlic and the reserved lemon zest. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add to the pan; cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add scallion greens and the chicken and any accumulated juices; cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Makes 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each.
Per serving: 225 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 27 g protein; 3 g fiber; 448 mg sodium; 796 mg potassium.
By Hilary Meyer
EatingWell assistant editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.
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