Do you know any meat with much protein and highly nutritious, low-fat, both economic and supports many and varied ways of cooking it?
Any food lover knows what to answer to this question. We refer to the chicken, one of the wealthiest and most prized meat, as well as to be healthy, balanced and very adaptable to our pockets.
Different specimens and nutritional properties:
The age of the chicken being sacrificed and their sex determined the quality of the meat and some of their nutritional content. For example, the capon is a very typical chicken for Christmas. It´s a male castrated and supercharged, about three kilos and presenting great amount of marbling fat, so it is a very tasty meat. The Poulard is another example: an exemplary supercharged female, at eight months of age, with a very appreciated meat for its flavor.
The hen is the old female chicken. Some consumers prefer to use chicken exclusively for stews and soups, since their meat is very fat and fibrous, aromatic, but with worse texture. Another discernible difference when choosing the product on the market is whether chicken poultry or farm. The latter correspond to specimens bred en masse, with very affordable prices. Rural or poultry chickens are fed with grain, so their meat is much tastier and has less fat.
Nutritional differences exist depending on the part of the chicken. Skinless breast is the less in fat, with less than 1% by weight, and the part of the animal with less cholesterol. The thighs have less protein than breast and triple fat, as well as viscera, with five times more fat. The liver has nine times more content in cholesterol than the breast.
Red meat doesn´t have more proteins than chicken, although many people believe otherwise. Protein contributions are similar. Chicken stands out due to its high content in vitamin B3 and folic acid, and although it has higher amounts of iron and zinc, red meat overpass poultry meat in levels of phosphorus and potassium. Although viscera administer significant amounts of cholesterol, their vitamin and mineral intake is very high, especially in vitamins A, C, B12 and folic acid.
The skin is another key factor in the nutritional value of chicken. 100 grams of this meat with skin provide 167 calories, 9.7 grams of fat and 110 mg of cholesterol. The same amount of skinless chicken has 112 calories, 2.8 g fat and 96 mg. cholesterol. The content of vitamins and minerals, on the other hand, is similar.
In the kitchen
Chicken is a very versatile food that lends itself to a multitude of culinary preparations. The simplest preparation and such which highlight more flavor, is the roast. Chicken supports all imaginable accompaniments, with vegetables and aromatic herbs, pickled and marinated. Before cooking a chicken, and once eviscerated, it has to be wash internally and externally with drinking water.
There are so many forms of cooking a chicken as regional tastes exist: whole or in pieces, fried, stewed, braised, grilled, roasted in the oven, at grill, with spit, in microwaves, stir-fry and boiled.
The basic cutting consists of splitting the specimen along the breastbone and spread the backbone by cutting on both sides with a knife. This form results in the breasts with wings, which can also be separated. Then are separated the legs cutting at the height of the joint and, finally, separating the thigh of the drumstick. The breast is the most appropriated for obtaining fillets, and we can buy it whole or filleted. It is somewhat drier than the thigh because it contains less fat.
Cooking with chicken
The roast chicken is one of the most delicious ways for eating this meat. It is very easy to prepare and can be given many different aromas, depending on how to fill its interior: grapes, plums, nuts, lemon, Apple, spices...
The grilled chicken breast is a basic dish to make a diet, since their nutritional properties are many, but has few calories. The chopped grilled chicken is a good ingredient for salads and the skin, neck and the quarters are perfect for enriching soups or broths.
Other parts of the chicken that are very appreciated are the thighs and wings, perfect as tops and barbecue. However, the chicken, both in whole or in cuts, supports varied recipes: can be stewed, frying clean or breaded, make in sauce, grilled, stewed, boiled and even sauteed.
With chicken are produced, in addition, many products, among them, hamburgers, sausages, pates, cold cuts and pre-cooked dishes.