Monday, June 21, 2010

Thighs are the New Breasts

Alternatively titled: Chicken Thighs 42 Different Ways (OK, maybe not 42)

I know. You are let down by the title of my post. You were hoping for boobs. Boobs! If that’s what you’re in the market for, you may as well move along. Nothing to see here except for chicken. Chicken!

Back in 2008, I read the book Skinny Bitch. Veganism was sweeping the nation (Was it?). So I decided to give it a shot. I had no good reason for doing this other than the desire to jump on the next big diet/eating craze bandwagon. Needless to say, despite the fact that I have never been much of a meat eater, the strict world of veganism didn’t stick. Shocking, I know.

Somewhere along the line—after Skinny Bitch, before right now—I sort of swore off these diet books that tell me to give up meat/dairy/carbs/sugar/fat/fill-in-the-blank. Too many rules, man.

The truth is that I finally realized that I didn’t need any more voices telling me the “right” way to eat. I had to have faith in balance, variety, eating lots of fruits and veggies, and keeping the junk food to a minimum. In other words, I had to have faith in common sense and stop filling my head with confusing information based on pseudo-science.

Word.

As part of this age of reason, I decided to get away from eating pasta every night for dinner and begin adding meat back into the dinner rotation. That’s when I made a discovery that has changed everything I believed about me and how I feel about meat: the chicken thigh.

Now, conventional “dieting” wisdom tells us that the lean, low-fat chicken breast is the only part of the bird we should bother with. And, a lot of people have “problems” with dark meat. I’m not sure what those “problems” are, but I’m pretty sure I claimed to have them.

Well, no more of that nonsense. I’m here today to say, “I was wrong chicken thigh. You are far superior to the breast.” Before, I ate whole wheat pasta for dinner constantly. Now, we have chicken thighs sometimes three times a week, which probably means that MM is getting sick of them, but I’m not. And I’m the one cooking. So that’s his problem. And yes, chicken thighs are a little fattier than chicken breasts, but that is why they are so good. Fat is your friend (not your best friend otherwise I’d be eating a pint of ice cream for dinner every night, but a good friend, someone you know is going to be there for you on a regular basis the way a good friend should be, in small doses and whatnot).

Here are a few recipes I have come to love. Trust me, if I’m cooking these, they are highly rated (by the internet community), healthy, and (most importantly) easy.

Spicy Honey-brushed Chicken Thighs
Pollo Fajitas
Chipotle Chicken and Rice (I do the rice separate in this recipe and just mix it all together at the end)
Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Oven Fried Chicken
Orange-Balsamic Glazed Chicken

You’re welcome.

P.S. If you have a good chicken recipe you’d like to share, please send it my way.

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