What Are the Best Tips for Preparing Healthy Chicken Thighs?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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Preparing healthy chicken thighs that are full of flavor does not always require the use of ingredients such as butter, oil or margarine, which can increase the amount of fat in a dish. Using chicken broth or a light marinade can often replace these high-calorie ingredients, creating a healthy recipe without sacrificing flavor. Baking chicken in a breading of flour, ground nuts or other type of crumbly meal can create healthy chicken thighs that mimic their deep fried counterparts. Adding blueberries to chicken may reduce carcinogenic effects during cooking, and light grilling, roasting and steaming in broth or antioxidant-rich red wine can also add flavor without adding empty calories.

With many recipes using chicken thighs, or other chicken parts, common ingredients like butter or margarine are often called for to cover the chicken. Since these ingredients can add unnecessary calories, many health food enthusiasts look for alternative recipes for healthy chicken thighs that won't sacrifice taste. When a recipe calls for using butter to coat the outside of chicken for flavor, often this ingredient can be replaced with chicken broth or a healthy chicken marinade. An example of a simple chicken marinade is a combination of olive oil, herbs and spices like rosemary and garlic, as well as salt.


Perhaps the best way to prepare healthy chicken thighs is to bake them in an oven, as frying can often create trans fats which have been deemed unhealthy in the field of nutrition. Many times a cook will re-create a faux fried chicken recipe to be baked, instead of fried, reducing the number of calories and amount of trans fats. Chicken thighs can be dipped in egg and then coated with ground nuts or whole wheat crackers, along with other desired spices. This can be baked to create a healthier version of fried chicken.

Sauteing chicken thighs is also another option that can be easily accomplished on the stove top, and doesn't always require the use of oil or butter. Often, a cook will make healthy chicken thighs by sauteing them in chicken broth or red wine, which has been shown to be high in antioxidants. Grilling chicken thighs is another cooking option, and applying a marinade can add flavor without unnecessary calories or fats. Since grilling may create compounds in the meat known as carcinogens, or cancer-causing compounds, many health experts recommend adding antioxidant-rich foods such as cranberries to the chicken to protect against any long-term health effects.


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