Friday, May 25, 2012

Creature Comforts - "Fried" Chicken Dinner

So lately I've been craving some good ol' southern comfort food; Particularly, crispy fried chicken & creamy mashed potatoes. Since I have a wedding to attend this coming Sunday (& a dress that won't DARE allow me to gain an ounce), I'm guessing this week isn't the best time to give in to my cravings. What I DID do was concoct my own healthy version inspired by the delicious, calorie-laden original.

Crispy Cornflake Chicken, Sweet Potato Mash & Oven Roasted Green Beans 

Now, I can't take total culinary credit for this dish. Growing up, my mom always tried to cook healthy for the entire family. She would regularly make her oven "fried" chicken thighs & drumsticks coated in cornflake crumbs. It was crispy & delicious and honestly tasted just as good as traditional fried chicken. I've tweaked it a bit to make it even MORE low fat by using chicken breast. Equally tasty, but maybe just a bit drier than the dark meat original. I never knew what exact seasonings she put on the chicken itself, but I'm sure is consisted of the seasoning TRIFECTA: which in my house, always included garlic (fresh or powdered), oregano, and Salt&Pepper. Yes that is technically 4 ingredients, but salt & pepper go hand in hand, and trifecta sounded SO much cooler than quartet (whomp whomppp). I digress...I recommend using any poultry seasoning or spice blend you like. I happened to use a Herbs de Provence blend because it goes so well with poultry, and well, it was in my cupboard. 

I also swapped out the creamy mashed potatoes for a sweet potato mash. Check out my Superfood  post for that recipe.

Finally, since my oven was still on and toasty hot, I tossed some string beans with a drizzle of olive oil, salt pepper & a few crushed garlic cloves. Threw it in the oven for 10-12 mins & out came perfectly done (i like my cooked veggies a little al dente).

*Take note of the portion sizes on the plate above. Notice how my largest helping is of the string beans, and the chicken and potatoes are more of a side-dish? This is the way we should be thinking about meal proportions. 

 Crispy Cornflake Chicken
Yields 4 servings: 167 Calories per serving; 2.7g Fat per serving)

  • 16oz - boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Cup - cornflakes, crushed to desired consistency (finer is better)
  • 1 egg, beaten (or if you don't look @ ingredient lists before cooking like me,        substitute 2 tbs of skim milk)
  • 2 tsp - poultry seasoning (or any seasoning blend you may fancy, salt-free please)
  • salt & pepper to taste
Trim any residual fat off chicken breast & cut into 2"-3" long pieces (should get about 10-12 pieces, depending on size of chicken breast). Add 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning, salt & pepper to cornflake crumbs. Season chicken pieces with remaining poultry seasoning, salt & pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in beaten egg, then cornflake crumbs. Set dredged pieces on foiled and greased baking pan (Pam olive oil spray is my fave). Once all pieces are dredged & placed on pan, spray pieces lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until crumbs turn lightly golden brown. 

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