There's a reason why chicken is a staple in most healthy diets. At approximately 165 calories for an 100 gram serving, it's lighter than red meat and most other alternatives, as well as lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. But it still packs a powerful protein punch with up to 31 grams per serving!

Chicken is also rich in vitamins and minerals. A serving also contains 39 percent of you daily value of selenium, which is crucial to metabolic performance, along with 23 percent of your recommended intake of phosphorus, which is essential for normal muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and healthy kidney function.

100 grams of chicken will also assure you 69 percent of your suggested intake of vitamin B3 and 30 percent of your recommended B6. Chicken also boasts lower amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc and vitamins A, D, B2, B12, and B5.

Chicken is also rich in amino acids and important enzymes, including tryptophan, a stress reliever; creatine, which is important to recovery, strength, and stamina; anserine, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure; and carnosine, which can bind to excessive glucose. Chicken broth is also thought to boost your immune system with a mild anti-inflammatory effect, which is why chicken soup is such a commonly touted cold remedy.

Chicken is also tasty, affordable, and a crowd pleaser, meaning it's a good choice if you're serving the kids or company as well as yourself. You'll probably only hear objections from the vegetarians!

You do want to be sure to avoid the fattier skin and thigh meat in favor of the leaner breasts, and to stick to grilling, broiling and baking rather than frying to avoid extra carbs and fat. That doesn't mean your chicken meal has to be bland or boring, though. Add a few spices to your chicken, serve it with your favorite veggies, or slice it up for a soup or salad, and you should be good to go!

Spicy Chicken Sausage Patties

Ingredients

  • 100 grams ground chicken breast (must be breast meat, no dark meat)
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Dash of garlic powder  
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion  
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed and minced  
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

Mix ingredients thoroughly in small bowl. Form mixture into 2 or 3 patties and fry in small saucepan, deglazing periodically with water to enhance flavor and keep chicken moist. Cook thoroughly until lightly browned. Makes 1 serving (1 protein).

Baked Cajun Chicken

Ingredients

  • 100 g Chicken
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Milk
  • Cajun Seasoning to cover

Directions

Preheat oven to 180. In small dish, coat both sides of chicken with milk. Place chicken in glass baking dish. Sprinkle top with cajun seasoning. Bake uncovered 20-30 mins or until chicken is no longer pink.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Ingredients

  • 3 large chicken breasts 10 or more cups of water  
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large soup pot or crock pot combine chicken and 10 or more cups of water. Water should slightly cover the chicken. Add celery and spices. Heat to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Allow to slow cook for 4 hours. Remove vegetables and chicken from broth. Refrigerate stock and skim off the chicken fat. Put through a strainer for a clear broth. Save the chicken and make chicken salad or add to soups. Makes multiple servings.

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