How to eat lots of chicken (etc.) without getting bored

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Throttle, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. Throttle

    Throttle Master Don Juan

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    As promised, some recipes for eating lots of chicken without getting bored. I give no quantities. You have eyes, a nose & a tongue, you'll figure out what you like better than I can tell you!

    FIRST, go with fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts. I resisted this for a long time, but they're way better than frozen chicken breasts, even if you freeze & thaw them once yourself. I can usually find them for $2-3/lb. @ Kroger.

    SECOND, there are lots of ways to cook chicken. I either pan fry it in a cast iron skillet or use a George Foreman grill. They're mostly equivalent, but the Foreman grill not only drains stuff away, you can take the drainage and brush it back onto the meat to keep it moist. Try that with an outdoor gas grill!

    THIRD, a little prep goes a long way. If you can only let meat marinade for a half hour, you need to add something either alcoholic or acidic. Vinegar works. Really cheap vodka works even better. Prepackaged marinades often include one or the other.

    But if you're willing to prepare at least 24 hours in advance, meat will absorb flavor just as well w/o either of those (in fact, you don't want to marinade in something acidic/alcoholic for more than a few hours. try it sometime and you'll see why).

    FOURTH, marinades are the key to keeping chicken (and most other meats) interesting. A handful of staples -- salt (or seasoned salt), pepper, and garlic (fresh, jarred, or powdered; fresh is best) make a basic marinade all of their own. You'll want to add them to most any marinade anyway.

    Grab an sealable plastic container or bag and add just enough water to moisten all the spices. You can also add a little oil (pick one high in monounsaturated fat like light olive or canola), which will help the meat brown. Add meat, shake, leave in the fridge til you're ready to cook it.

    FIFTH--this is where it gets fun. Your ability to keep things interesting depends only on your creativity AND trusting your nose. Most of what you taste is actually smell, so if it smells good, it will nearly always taste good (unless it's totally bitter or lacking in salt, which you can correct with a quick taste). Try some of the following:

    - curry powder (try mild, you can always spice it up with other ingredients, or work your way up to the hot stuff)
    - montreal chicken seasoning
    - Cajun seasoning
    - Old Bay seasoning (it's a Chesapeake bay crab thing, but works great on chicken)
    - nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, cinnamon (various combos will give you a hint of apple or pumpkin pie)
    - parsley, sage, rosemary, and/or thyme (try emphasizing one over the others for different takes). there are lots of others but these 4 will get you started
    - "Italian" seasoning (pre-packaged or add basil and/or oregano to the last one)
    - lemon pepper (pre-packaged, or grab a lemon / lemon juice and do it yourself! if you do this, lemon juice is acidic--see above)


    All of the above marinades are essentially carb free. But if you're _not_ worried about adding carbs try:

    - terayki marinade in a bottle
    - anything that says asian ginger sesame, etc.
    - add brown sugar to nutmeg, cloves, ginger and/or cinnamon (now it will REALLY start to taste like pie)
    - roll the meat in flour, corn starch, or pulverized toast crumbs, then add your spices -- like shake n bake only nearly free & it tastes the way _you_ want it to


    SIXTH--learn the taste of some staples beyond salt, pepper & garlic. These can be added to basic marinades to change their character:

    - Red pepper (for heat -- the more you add the hotter it gets)
    - Chili powder (for a particular sort of heat)
    - Worchestershire sauce / powder
    - Onion powder
    - Basil & oregano (stuff will taste inexplicably more italian, whatever it is)
    - MSG (go real easy on this stuff, but it can wake up something bland -- it's a key ingredient in chinese takeout!)
    - peanut or (if you're really rich) sesame oil add a nutty flavor instead of the neutral flavor of light olive oil or canola oil
    - extra virgin olive oil adds a distinct flavor useful with italian & greek flavors


    WHEW! I've barely scratched the surface and given you some of my favorites. You don't have to buy all this stuff at once. Try something new this week. Trust your nose (sniff BEFORE you add, and add slowly but don't be afraid to add lots) and get creative.

    Live with your parents? Volunteer to cook--they love that! Married? Give the old lady a break. In a dorm? There's gotta be a kitchen around there somewhere. Give yourself a break from the dining commons / cafeteria food! You have no excuses. Get out there, lift heavy, get adequate rest, and clean up your diet with lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, lean pork, lean beef, lean steak, tuna steaks & salmon. They don't have to be boring!
     
  2. mrRuckus

    mrRuckus Master Don Juan

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    what the hell i gotta ruin some chicken to see why? boo on you. :p


    i just got some apple cider vinegar today to mix with some olive oil to try as a salad dressing. i'm gonna try some of that as a marinade. After i bought it i looked it up and it's supposed to be really healthy for you too. neat.
     
  3. Throttle

    Throttle Master Don Juan

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    lol...depends on how long you leave it and how strong the dissolving agent. more than a few hours and the proteins in the outer portion of the meat will start to denature (turn white) -- like cooking it, w/o the benefit of killing any nasties. a few days in sufficiently strong vinegar solution and it may not qualify as meat anymore :rolleyes:

    mm sounds good, esp. if the smell of cider vinegar doesn't make you want to pass out.
     
  4. Warboss Alex

    Warboss Alex Master Don Juan

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    Brilliant thread. :D We should make this a cooking tips thread.

    Stir fries are a great way to spice up chicken, porn or beef. I marinade the meat in a little soy sauce, sesame/walnut oil and chinese five spice/thai seven spice.

    Also, stir frying is the best way to trick yourself into eating veggies if you have a problem getting them down. Put a lid over the pan and the veggies soften up beautifully and you can barely think it's cauliflower you're chowing down.

    Soy sauce (low sodium if you like) is great, very strong flavour so you don't need very much, and if you get the light version there's barely any carbs in it.

    Also, salsa contains very few carbs if you like that sort of thing.

    Throttle - I'm not in the US but I hear you guys have a great line of seasonings called McCormick's? Everyone seems to love 'em. :D
     
  5. Throttle

    Throttle Master Don Juan

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    yeh i'm from mcCormick's hometown (baltimore) though not there anymore. I'm a cheapskate, though, so I tend to grab store brands, pop 'em open to make sure they're potent, and run with that. except for pre-packaged blends -- for those I tend to go with mcC's. can't miss, and 3 or 4 of 'em will give you variety for months or more.

    soy sauce is a beautiful, beautiful thing. i find the straight up variety rather salty.

    a bit of butter & salt make veggies infinitely more tolerable, even the nasty ones. I try to get saturated fat out of the rest of my diet (via skim milk, lean cuts of meat, more egg whites than yolks) so I can blow more of it on butter & bacon! As WBA has already pointed out in his guide, a reasonable amount of fat promotes testesterone production--don't fear fat, just balance it.
     
  6. Throttle

    Throttle Master Don Juan

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    Beautiful Freudian slip :crackup:

    Seriously this thread is like porno for hardgainers. Eat up! :D
     
  7. RedPill

    RedPill Master Don Juan

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    Idea for chicken that I've adopted recently:

    Bake it.

    It stays so much more moist than grilling it. What I'm doing now is marinading it, and then when it's time to bake, put it in then oven with all the marinade. Fill the pan up with marinade so that just the top of the chicken is showing, and season it. The chicken breasts cook in the hot marinade, and the flavor retention is off the charts.

    As my life keeps getting busier, I'm discovering that to make big eating possible, one has to minimize chew time. This is done by giving the food maximum moisture in its preparation and a strong enough flavor that it will whet the appetite. That being said, my aim now in cooking chicken is to make it so tender it easily pulls apart with a fork.

    Now if anyone could tell me how to make beef this tender (slow roasting?) it would be greatly appreciated!
     
  8. Warboss Alex

    Warboss Alex Master Don Juan

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    oh ****, did I really write that..

    remember guys, ASK your girlfriend before wokking. or whacking.
     
  9. Throttle

    Throttle Master Don Juan

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    You can do this on the stovetop too, basically boiling chicken in its own marinade. If you get the proportions just right, the liquid boils off just in time to brown it a little. I was doing a lot of that 6 months ago, but for me the Foreman grill is a little more fire-and-forget.

    As for beef, try stewing it on the stovetop (2 quart saucepan or so) just at boiling (bubbling but not rolling boil). If you let it boil too hard it can actually become stringy and tough even as it falls apart. The best part about stewing meat is you can use less expensive cuts that generally have more natural flavor. Don't waste quality cuts you would use for a tender grilled steak!

    One of my weaknesses is chicken salad, so every once in a while I throw leftover chicken in a medium sized saucepan and let it boil awhile. Once it starts to fall apart it's ready to cool and add grotesque ingredients like mayo. (YUM!) I've tried chicken salad w/ lite mayo or (worse) miracle whip, and i've just decided that chicken salad needs to be a cheat meal sometimes :D
     
  10. DarthJuan

    DarthJuan Senior Don Juan

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    I'm not a good cook, but here's some of my simple chicken, egg and beef concoctions.

    - I just use the cheap frozen chicken breasts you get in the big bags at the grocery store. They're flash frozen in some sort of solution...not sure what the stuff is...but you don't need to thaw the chicken breasts - you can take it straight out of the freezer and start cooking.



    <<< Boiled Chicken >>>
    1) Boil one or two frozen chicken breasts in a pot of water.
    2) Add a chicken bullion cube or two to taste.

    * Add some onion, celery and carrot if you like.
    * Some scummy, froth from the chicken sometimes collects on the soup surface. Just skim
    it off with a ladle.

    - Serve boiled chicken breast with some white rice and soy sauce.
    Drizzle some of the broth (or cook some rice with the broth) on to the rice so it isn't so dry.

    - Or you can just add the rice to the soup to make Chicken Rice Soup.
    I just use some tongs to lift out the chicken breasts and cut it up into smaller pieces with scissors.





    <<< Beef >>>
    1) Fry up some sliced beef and onions in some butter. (hmmm, smells good)
    2) Add salt and pepper.
    3) Add some wine and reduce to make the gravy.

    * Or just add some brown gravy mix with a little water.


    - Pour over two pieces of whole-wheat toast to make an Open-Faced Beef Sandwich. Just eat it with a fork.

    - Or pour the beef/onions and gravy over some mashed potatoes.
    For some extra protein and flavor: mix several egg yolks (no egg whites) into the mashed potatoes while it is still hot.


    - Or add some sour cream and a teeny-bit of ketchup to the beef/onions and gravy to make it into a stroganoff. Serve over some white rice.





    <<< Hard-boiled eggs >>>

    1) Boil some eggs.
    2) Just eat with white rice and soy sauce.
    And wash it all down with a nice, big glass of milk.

    **WARNING: hard-boiled egg farts are the worst. Don't eat the day before a big date! You'll smell like you sat on and broke a stink bomb**
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
    beautiful girlLearn a simple little mind game called The Scrambler that has the power to make a girl chase you... even if she wasn't attracted to you to begin with.
  11. insidious

    insidious Master Don Juan

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    My Asian take...

    I threw this mishmash together the other night with what I had sitting in the fridge. Since it was basically spur of them moment, I dont' have measurements, but it's something you can approximate to your own tastes:

    I took about 4 or 5 chicken thigh filets (feel free to use any other skinless and boneless cuts), cut them into smaller pieces and cooked them briefly in a tablespoon of olive oil. Once they began to color, I added a bag of frozen broccoli florets. After cooking that a few minutes, I added:

    salt
    pepper
    garlic salt
    soy sauce
    rice vinegar (this is the weird unusual part but believe it or not, it added
    a nice dimension to this otherwise boring dish)

    You can add a variety of other spices and/or vegetables. It was so good I finished the whole damn thing :cool:
     
  12. Ziniath

    Ziniath Don Juan

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    holy ****, I ****ing love this thread.

    I've been eating chiggen breast so blandly for the past year now, this thread is a godsend.

    Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.
     
  13. Purefilth

    Purefilth Master Don Juan

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    Amen and hallelujah
     
  14. TyTe`EyEz

    TyTe`EyEz Master Don Juan

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    On workout days, I mostly do chicken and rice; it's simple and delicious. Also, chicken sandwiches are an easy way to mix things up - a kaiser roll, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and mustard. Bam.
     

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