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Cook Healthy Garlic Chicken for Any Salad

Updated on October 20, 2011

On a diet? Eating bland salads? Bored?

Most likely, the answer to all of those is yes. Here's a quick and painless recipe for healthy garlic chicken that will liven up any salad.

Start with either a thawed chicken breast or four chicken strips (skinless, of course). Dab the chicken with a paper towel, removing most of the liquid. Use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors to cut the chicken into strips just bigger than the size you want them in your salad. If you happen to see any remaining skin, fat, or vascular tissue, remove it.

From here, take 3 cloves of garlic (or more, if it pleases you). Cut each clove slightly down the middle, and then crush it with the edge of your knife. Doing it this way will allow you to pull the garlic right out of the skin. Mince the garlic, adding a few drops of water so it doesn't stick to your knife.

Then, take a 1/2 tsp of salt, and pour it onto the garlic. This will cause the garlic to moisten. From here, take a heavy bottom glass, like a short tumbler, and press down on the garlic, mashing it by twisting the glass left and right. Use your knife to gather it back into a pile, and repeat. You will eventually get a garlic paste.

Take your chicken and place it into a bowl. Sprinkle the chicken with your favorite seasoning (freshly ground pepper and kosher salt is good - anything coarse), and drop the garlic paste in. You can also add a dash of lemon, lime, or orange juice to really kick the flavor up. Mix everything up, and place some foil over the bowl and place it in the fridge for about an hour.

From here, you can cook the chicken two different ways. If you like your chicken a little more crispy, keep reading. If you like your chicken more moist and juicy, skip head.

For crispy chicken, use a skillet on medium/high heat. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. Test the temperature with a drop of water in the oil. It should lightly fizzle. If the water spurts, the oil is too hot. Once its ready, pour everything - chicken and garlic - into the pan and sear the chicken on both sides, about a minute each or until lightly brown. Turn down to low/medium, and cook for 7 minutes (longer or less, depending on how you like your chicken. If you want to be safe, place a lid a quarter of the way over the skillet). Let rest for 10 minutes, or place in the fridge, and serve chilled in your favorite salad.

For more juicy chicken, heat your oven to 325 degrees. Place tin foil on a cookie sheet, and grease lightly. Put the chicken and garlic on, and wrap with another piece of foil. Fold the edges of both foil pieces together to make a pocket. Place in the oven for 1 hour. You will have moist, tender chicken you can serve immediately, or chill for later.

Good eats!

Matthew Gordon is the author of The Thin Blue Line: An In-Depth Look at the Policing Practices of the Los Angeles Police Department & To Live, To Think, To Hope - Inspirational Quotes by Helen Keller.

© Matthew Gordon, 2011


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