Make my chicken interesting.
January 27, 2020 7:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to modify my diet to low carb/high protein, and for various boring reasons my protein sources are essentially chicken and eggs. I've been having the eggs in boiled and omelet forms, and chicken (boneless) usually marinated in lemon juice/garlic/pepper/oregano. I like these versions, but I can tell boredom is around the corner. Can you suggest nice non-oven cooking styles for chicken and/or eggs that are healthy and not too complicated? Thanks in advance!
posted by Nieshka to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Make chicken stock/broth—my go-to for this is Nigella Lawson’s “cold cure soup” recipe. (You can do this any day and then freeze to use over time.) Then make an egg drop soup using it. I do an extremely lazy/inauthentic version by heating the broth in a pot, scrambling an egg, and then pouring that through a slotted spoon into the hot broth. It will cook right away and you can pour it into a bowl and finish it with toppings (like sesame oil, or hot peppers) if you like.
posted by sallybrown at 7:18 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I like to poach & shred chicken when I have a large quantity (and enough time/foresight). It's highly versatile and, in its most basic form, dead simple: plop chicken in enough water to cover, bring to a simmer, cook about thirty minutes, cool, and then do as you will with it. You can add aromatics but I frequently don't bother as it's usually about to be added directly to something else: soup, chicken salad, pie...
posted by peakes at 7:19 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Put harissa in chicken, before or after cooking.
posted by OrangeVelour at 7:22 AM on January 27, 2020

Same on poaching and shredding, except to suggest strongly flavored poaching liquid. What I do most often is jarred salsa.
posted by LizardBreath at 7:23 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Chicken thighs or breasts? Breasts can dry out quickly and contribute to the boredom.
Rotisserie chicken is great - even the white meat is moist. However, you have to be comfortable taking it apart and that can be messy and bit icky if you don't usually deal with chicken bones. It is much easier after the first time. For me, this is the best chicken for salads.
If you have a pressure cooker (electric or stovetop), chicken does well in there. If you start missing crunchy things, try an air fryer. A grill pan or foreman grill will give you a different texture than a fry pan. Slow cookers are good for thighs as they need to be cooked slowly and then fall apart.
posted by soelo at 7:36 AM on January 27, 2020

Response by poster: I like eggs too, devrim! Loving your (and everyone else's) suggestions, thank you so much and please keep them coming :)
posted by Nieshka at 7:37 AM on January 27, 2020

Chicken with sage and onion is a very nice combination. I'd also maybe try different marinades for example ginger, garlic and lemongrass, or this tikka marinade, maybe have a look at the spice mixes in the supermarket for ideas.
posted by plonkee at 7:40 AM on January 27, 2020

I eat mostly chicken thighs (because flavor and how they last better in the fridge). I use a variety of flavored salts to make it not-boring.

Favorites Include:

Campfire (for thights)
French Picnic (for breasts and eggs)
Lady Bug Picnic
Unicorn (for basically anything)

I know some people really love the "Hot" flavors as well.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:41 AM on January 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

Slice a chicken breast into@ 4-5 strips. Seasoned salt, chili pepper, Tabasco or other sauce, cook fast with oil on pretty high heat, turning several times. fast & tasty. Heat the pan before you add the oil.
Deviled eggs or egg salad or chicken salad. Real mayo is egg whites and oil.
Your grocery probably has decent pesto in the refridgerated section.
posted by theora55 at 8:19 AM on January 27, 2020

Chicken breast is super easy to overcook and turn to sawdust but you can get uniformly better results by pounding it out just a bit. You're not making a pancake, you're just making it a little more even.

Then, pan sauce with your homemade broth (dosed with gelatin if needed, or box stock definitely dosed with gelatin). Changing up flavors of sauce keep super simple salt & pepper chicken breasts working for me and I am super picky but still eat them twice a week. Fresh tarragon and lemon thyme are my favorites.
posted by supercres at 8:33 AM on January 27, 2020

Bash a chicken breast until it's fairly even in thickness. Season some flour with salt, chilli flakes, garlic & herbs of your choice, coat the breast in the seasoned flour. Brown it quickly in a pan for 2mins on one side only, using 50/50 mix of oil & butter. Then flip it over in the pan, put on a tight-fitting lid, and leave it on a low heat for 10mins. Then turn off the heat & let it rest for a further 10mins. Don't move the chicken around or take off the lid at any stage.

Result is tender, still moist, with a very tasty crust.
posted by rd45 at 8:58 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you have access to a grill and an Aldi, get to Aldi and buy some of their spice mix "Brew Pub Chicken". Rub the chicken (I like boneless/skinless thighs) with the Brew Pub Chicken and stick it on the grill until it's kinda crispy on the outside. It is SO GOOD.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:18 AM on January 27, 2020

This is not zero hassle, but if you want breaded chicken but low carb, breading in egg dipped in ground almonds is a little fussy, but tastes terrific.
posted by LizardBreath at 9:22 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Adobo seasoning.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:27 AM on January 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I do a lazy ass chicken picatta where I pound a chicken breast thin and then cook it in butter and a ton of lemon juice (throw in capers if you've got 'em) in a frying pan over low heat. The low heat really gives the chicken a chance to brown as the lemon burns off.

We do a lot of stir fry with generic grocery store stir fry vegetables and chicken breasts cubed and marinated in ginger and soy sauce in the fridge. I scramble an egg and dump it in at the end and it's nice.

Chicken prepped the same way can also be used for Japanse noodle bowls. You can use onion noodles instead of noodle noodles if you're trying to low-carb.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:33 AM on January 27, 2020

Boneless chicken thighs, pounded out to even thickness, dredged in egg, then grated parmesan cheese and panfried is one of my go-to low carb meals. Even better served with an arugula salad, dressed in a lemony viniagrette on top.
posted by sarajane at 10:18 AM on January 27, 2020

Scrambled eggs with various add-ins. I bake mine in muffin tins, but it would in a skillet as well. This week it's rotisserie chicken and roasted broccoli and red onions. I made a batch of rotisserie spice and used that to season it. I usually throw cheese in there, but I wasn't paying attention yesterday.

Previously: chicken, peppers, onions, Mexican blend cheese and taco seasoning.
Also ham, peppers, onions and cheddar cheese with Italian seasoning.
posted by kathrynm at 10:45 AM on January 27, 2020

Early last year I was doing a lot of marinated chicken breasts as my bag-lunch protein option, and found a metric assload of other marinades out there online. In many cases you can even freeze the chicken breast directly in the marinade and have it on reserve, so it's easy for batch advance cooking; the night before I'd take one of the breast-marinade baggies out of the freezer, let it thaw in the fridge, and then bake it at about 425 or so the next night for about 20 minutes.

Here's one such list of marinades.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:29 AM on January 27, 2020

Spice blends from Penzey's or make your own.

Make your own marinades, too.
posted by dancing leaves at 11:56 AM on January 27, 2020

You don't say why you are focused on chicken, but if it's not excluded for some reason, consider turkey as an alternate, we use ground turkey in some gound beef recipes such as meat loaf and tacos. Turkey cutlets are easy to cook and very lean.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:39 AM on January 28, 2020

if you live near a supermarket with a good deli or a rotisserie joint, buying whole rotisserie chickens from the deli or takeout place is often only a couple of bucks more expensive than buying uncooked from the supermarket.

after using it warm, anything you can do with cold chicken you can do with rotisserie thats sat in the fridge an their seasonings they use are often are amazing.....and no cleanup
posted by lalochezia at 10:36 AM on January 28, 2020

This Greek yogurt marinated chicken recipe is delish.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 5:58 PM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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