Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fried Chicken Anyone?

One of my favorite foods is fried chicken. Unfortunately, if you ever check the nutritional values of restaurant or fast food fried chicken, you'd be shocked at how much sodium there is. I looked up the websites for three chicken chains: KFC, Popeyes & Pollo Campero (a South American Fried Chicken chain). Below is the sodium content for one breast of each of their different types of chicken:
  • KFC Original Recipe - 960 mg
    • No Skin/Breading - 600 mg
  • KFC Extra Crispy - 1020 mg
  • KFC Hot & Spicy - 1450 mg
  • Popeyes Spicy - 1090 mg
  • Popeyes Mild - 1380 mg
    • No Skin/Breading - 960 mg
  • Pollo Campero Traditional - 810 mg
I guess you could order the chicken without the skin & breading (and still rack up 600 to 960 mg sodium!), but why? If that's the case, you might as well go to El Pollo Loco or Boston Market, since fried chicken just isn't "fried" chicken without the breading!

I've been making my own healthier version of fried chicken at home, that minimizes the amount of sodium used. Here's the recipe:
  • 2 Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breasts (est 230 mg sodium)
  • All-Purpose Flour (0 mg)
  • Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard (50 mg/tsp)
  • Dry Ingredients: Black Pepper, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Morton Salt Substitute (0 mg)
  • Optional Dry Ingredients: Curry Powder (80 mg/tsp), Dried Oregano (0 mg)
  • Olive Oil or Grape Seed Oil for frying
  • Large Zip Lock Plastic Bag
1. Put mustard (2-3 tsp, depending on sizes of chicken) into a large bowl & rub thoroughly onto clean chicken breasts; let sit covered in fridge for 1 hour
2. Put flour (about 1-1.5 cups) & dry ingredients (amounts up to personal tastes, but since there's very little sodium, I would suggest liberal use; if using curry powder, a little goes a long way to add some great flavor!) into zip lock bag and shake well to mix
3. Heat oil on high in a skillet (enough oil to have chicken half way submerged)
4. Put mustard-marinated chicken into seasoning bag, seal, and shake till chicken is well-coated. When oil starts to bubble, turn heat down to medium
5. Shake off excess flour from chicken and carefully place into skillet
6. Fry for 3-5 minutes (or until nicely browned), then flip over and repeat; Make sure chicken is cooked inside - try cutting one breast open to check
7. Remove chicken from oil and place onto wire rack, with paper towels underneath to catch dripping oil. Lightly blot chicken with paper towel.

I like to eat this chicken with rice, in a sandwich, with mashed potatoes or even by itself!


1 comment:

Melinda said...

THANK YOU!!! I was recently diagnosed with Meniere's disease (google it if you really want to know) and it's HORRIBLY debilitating! One of the things that works best for me in treating this disease is a low-sodium diet. As someone who loves to cook, I found this restriction horrifying! I've been looking everywhere for low-sodium recipes, and one of my favorites is fried chicken. Thanks again for posting your recipe!! Good luck with your diet, more power to you!!