50 ways to makeover a chicken breast

by Emma on April 28, 2011

in Ingredients,What's For Dinner?

This great article I found in a 2008 edition of Women’s Health Magazine that showed 50 makeovers for a chicken breast. The chicken breast is one of the leanest parts of the bird, with approximately 23g of protein to just 1g of saturated fat and 460kJ (for a regular 100g breast).

Here’s a number of quick and easy recipes using just a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You can multiply the recipe by two or three breasts, depending on the amount of people you are feeding, just don’t forget to multiple the rest of the ingredients accordingly.

Photo by Steamy Kitchen


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Wok on

The basics: For a stir-fry cut a raw chicken breast into bite-sized pieces or thin strips. Cook in a non-stick frypan or wok over medium-high heat until browned (three to five minutes) then add one of the following groups of ingredients – in the order listed – and cook for five more minutes, stirring frequently.

1. Spicy Capsicum: 1 tbsp soy sauce; 2 tsp sesame oil; 1/2 cup red capsicum strips; 1/4 medium onion, cut into strips; 1/2 tsp chilli flakes

2. Vegie blend: 1 tsp hoisin sauce; 2 tsp sesame oil; 1/3 cup chopped carrots; 1/3 cup chopped celery; 1 sliced shallot; 2 tbsp chopped unsalted peanuts

3. Nutty asparagus: 1 tbsp soy sauce; 2 tsp sesame oil; 1/2 cup asparagus, chopped; 2 tbsp unsalted cashews

4. Sweet lemon: 1 tbsp soy sauce; 1 tbsp lemon juice; 1 tsp lemon zest; 1 tsp honey; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1/2 cup snow peas

5. Asian brocolli: 1 whisked egg; 1/2 cup chopped brocolli; 1/4 medium onion, cut into strips; 1/2 tsp chilli flakes; 1 tbsp soy sauce

6. Hoisin snow peas: 1 whisked egg; 1/2 cup snow peas; 1/2 red capsicum strips; 1/4 onion, cut into strips; 1 tbs hoisin sauce

Tip: Sesame oil gives stir-fries a distrinctive flavour and is full of healthy unsaturated fats. (Get plain, not toasted).

Get baked

The basics: Preheat oven to 170 degrees C and douse your chicken breast in sauce, rub it with spices, crust it with goodies, or stuff it with savouries. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes.

Watery dips like salsa will do just fine in the oven. But thicker sauces, like barbecue, must be mixed with water or stock or you’ll be left with sticky, blackened char. Use a small baking dish with raised sides to keep the meat swimming.

7. Fiest: 1/2 cup salsa

8. Barbecue: 2 tbsp barbecue sauce; 2 tbsp water

9. Rich barbecue: 3 tbsp red wine vinegar; 1 tbsp barbecue sauce; 1 clove garlic, crushed

10. Caesar: 2 tbsp Caesar salad dressing; 2 tbsp water

11. Honey mustard: 2 tbsp Dijon mustard; 2 tbsp honey; 1 tsp olive oil

12. Garlic mustard: 2 tbsp chicken stock; 1 tbsp mustard; 1 clove garlic, crushed

13. Creamy mushroom: 2 tbsp low-fat sour cream; 4 button mushrooms; 2 tbsp water

14. Pesto: 2 tbsp pesto; 2 tbsp chicken stock

15. Sweet soy: 2 tbsp soy sauce; 1/4 cup tinned pineapple chunks with juice

16. Coconut curry: 3 tbsp chicken stock; 2 tbsp light coconut milk; 1/4 tsp curry powder

17. Sweet apple: 1/3 cup chicken stock; 1 tbsp maple syrup; 1 tbsp apple juice

18. Hot stuff: 2 tbsp chilli sauce; 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

19. Herbed citrus: 2 tbsp lemon juice; 2 tbsp orange marmalade; 1/4 tsp rosemary

Pound the daylights out of your chicken breasts with a meat tenderiser until it’s uniformly thin. Then arrange any of the following ingredients on the breast, roll it up, and secure it with toothpicks or kitchen twine. Easy.

20. Ham & cheese: 1 slice cheddar cheese; 2 slices deli ham; 1/4 tsp black pepper

21. Stromboli: 1 slice mozzarella cheese; 3 slices pepperoni; 3 fresh basil leaves

22. Pizza: 1 slice mozzarella cheese; 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes; 3 leaves fresh basil, chopped

23. Spinach & cheese: 1 handful baby spinach leaves, chopped; 1 tbsp crumbled blue cheese; 1 clove garlic, crushed

24. Deli style: 1 slice mozzarella cheese; 1 slice salami; 1 tbs chopped roasted red capsicum

25. Sun-dried tomato: 1 1/2 tbsp light ricotta cheese; 1 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes; 1/4 tsp oregano

26. Mediterranean: 1 1/2 tbsp light ricotta cheese; 1 tbsp diced olives; 1/4 tsp lemon zest

27. Parmesan pesto: 1 tbsp pesto; 1 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese; 1/4 tsp black pepper

28. Broccoli & cheese: 1 1/2 tbsp light cream cheese spread; 3 florets of broccoli, cooked

29. Eggplant & cheese: 1/4 cup cooked diced eggplant; 1 1/2 tbsp mozzarella cheese

30. Bacon & tomato: 1/4 cup tinned diced tomatoes; 1 rasher bacon; 1 tsp crushed garlic

Rub these herd and spice mixtures evenly over each chicken breast, then lightly coat with cooking oil spray.

31. Chilli: 1/4 tsp each garlic powder, chilli powder, black pepper and oregano; salt to taste

32. Three-alarm fire: 1/4 tsp each black pepper, chilli powder, red chilli flakes, cumin, and chilli sauce

33. Tri-herb rub: 1/4 tsp each dried basil, rosemary and thyme; salt and pepper to taste

Crack an egg into a shallow bowl, whisk it, dip the chicken breast in it, and then roll the chicken in a plate of one of these coatings:

34. Nutty: 1/3 cup finely chopped nuts (try almonds, macadamias and cashews)

35. Italian: 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese; 1 tbsp breadcrumbs; 1/4 tsp each garlic powder, oregano, parsley flakes; a pinch of black pepper.

36. Faux fried: 1/2 cup crushed Corn Flakes or wholemeal breadcrumbs; salt and pepper to taste

Tip: To lock in juices, sear the breast in a hot frying pan for 1 to 2 minutes per side before baking.

Grill power

The basics: Soak the chicken breast in these marinades for at least an hour. Heat a grill to medium heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side.

37. Booze infused: 2 tsp bourbon; 1 tsp Dijon mustard; 1/4 tsp black pepper

38. Sweet booze infused: 2 tsp bourbon; 1 tsp honey; 1 clove garlic, crushed

39. Red wine dressed: 2 tbsp red wine; 1 tsp barbecue sauce; 1 clove garlic, crushed

40. White wine dressed: 2 tbsp white wine; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1/4 tsp thyme

41. Cumin & lime: 2 tbsp lime juice; 1/4 tsp cumin; 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes

42. Lemon zest: 2 tbsp lemon juice; 1/4 tsp lemon zest; 1/4 tsp black pepper

43. Yoghurt coated: 2 tbsp plain yoghurt; 1/4 tsp dill

44. Ginger spiced: 2 tbsp orange juice; 1/4 tsp ground ginger; 1/4 tsp coriander

45. Curry yoghurt: 2 tbsp plain yoghurt; 1 tsp olive oil; 1/4 tsp curry powder

46. Margaritaville: 2 tbsp lime juice; 1 tsp olive oil; 1/4 tsp coriander

47. Soy powered: 1 tbsp soy sauce; 1 tsp sesame oil; 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes

48. O-juiced: 2 tbsp orange juice; 1 tbsp hoisin sauce; 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes

49. Balsamic herb: 2 tbsp vinaigrette; 1/4 tsp rosemary

50. Hawaiian punch: 2 tbsp pineapple juice; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1/4 tsp black pepper

Tip: Before grilling, mix ingredients in a zip-lock bag, add chicken, shake and refrigerate.

How do you makeover your chicken breast?

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