Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine.
Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine. Finding new ways to cook up the standard bird and keep it interesting (and keep your taste buds dancing) is time-consuming but in this series of recipes, I will highlight many different ways to prepare your poultry so your meal rotation is anything but boring. So whaddya say? Let’s play chicken!
Stir fry style meals make weeknights simple to prep and easy to eat. Cooking lean proteins, like chicken, in a stir fry maintains a pleasant bite-able texture since they cook quickly and don’t have time to become dry—which can be a problem with proteins that are low in fat content. A higher fat content is one contributor to tender, moist meat but the cooking style and prep also have a lot of influence on the final outcome. With this in mind, leaner meats can be kept tender by using additional healthy fats as your cooking oil, like olive oil or coconut oil. Cooking small bite size pieces quickly with acidic sauces, as in this recipe, also serves to maintain as much tenderness in the meat as possible.
This Viet-style lemongrass chicken is my take on a Vietnamese dish made easier and family friendly while illustrating one method of keeping chicken pieces tender. In this dish, traditional Vietnamese flavors that are heavy on garlic and lemongrass combine with a savory, sweet sauce that is oh-so-right for pairing with bell peppers and onion, spooned over rice.
Calories 345, Protein 26g, Carbs 38g, Fat 10g
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil for the pan
- 1 stalk lemongrass, minced (or 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or sake
- ½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 red or green bell peppers, cut into strips
- 1 red onion, cut into strips
- 2 cups prepared rice
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Prepare rice according to instructions.
- While rice is cooking, heat a wok or large sauté pan with enough coconut or olive oil so the chicken will not stick to it, about 2 tablespoons or so.
- Toss the chicken, lemongrass, and garlic into the pan and stir cook until very fragrant and chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
- In a small dish, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, tamari, sake, and chili flakes.
- Pour sauce mixture into the chicken and stir to coat.
- Add bell pepper and onion and stir cook until veggies begin to soften.
- Serve chicken as is or spooned over top hot rice and top with chopped cilantro.