Saturday, February 5, 2011

Comfort Food - Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

It's the weekend and with more snow in the forecast and a cold snap on the way next week, we could all use a little comfort.  Frankly, potatoes are calorie heavy as a rule, but you can make the mashed variety healthier and at least not pour on the fat.  (Read, no gravy.)  Fried chicken is pretty bad for you, no matter what.  But if you don't really fry it, use chicken breasts instead of dark meat and keep the breading lighter, you have a fighting chance.

This recipe is from Eating Better America and is called "Healthified Mashed Potatoes".  It's called such because it cuts out the butter and adds heart healthy olive oil in its place, which I had never tried before. Then they keep it simple with salt and pepper and fresh chives.  Nice job!

As for the "Fried Chicken", I LOVE the folks at "America's Test Kitchen"!  They try all the techniques, so you don't have to.  In fact, if you ever want a no-fail recipe, go here.  There is a membership fee, but if you are a serious cook or just starting to learn, this site is unbelievable.

As for a recipe, I will let you choose what fits your fancy.  However, these are the tips from America's Test Kitchen for getting it to come out as closed to tasting 'fried' as possible:

Oven-Fried Chicken

Crunchy-coated, tender, juicy fried chicken is utterly irresistible, but it can be a real pain to prepare. There’s the multi-step breading to contend with, and then there’s all that hot, spattering oil. We wanted to mimic the best of fried chicken with a minimum of fuss, and bake it, not fry it. Here’s what we discovered:

Test Kitchen Discoveries

  • Marinate the chicken in highly seasoned buttermilk flavored with mustard, garlic powder, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Soak the chicken for at least one hour, or even better, overnight, so that the flavors have a chance to penetrate deep into the meat.
  • Use a blend of corn flakes and breadcrumbs for the crispest coating. Seasoned heavily with spices and lightly coated with oil, the coating bakes up as crisp as a deep-fried crust.
  • Bake the chicken in a hot (400-degree) oven on a wire rack set on a baking sheet. The rack allows hot air to circulate beneath the chicken so that all sides of the pieces become crisp.
  • Traditional homemade fried chicken has 552 calories, 34 grams of fat, and 10 grams of saturated fat per serving. Cook’s Country Oven-Fried Chicken has 216 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 4 grams of saturated fat per serving.

Nice calorie savings, huh?  We have tried this at home, very tasty and crispy.  And that's coming from a girl that used to love the Colonel's extra crispy!

Yours in Health,

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