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Low Fat Cooking/Cooking Chicken

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Question
Hi Ellen Sue,

Can you advise on cooking chicken breasts in wine? Iím trying to avoid using oil.

Also, in the past, Iíve coated chicken with bread crumbs and then cooked in olive oil. Can I substitute wine for the oil? Or will that lead to a bad result?

Thank you!
Jona

Answer
Hello, Jona

Cooking chicken in wine (I'd use white) will have more of a poaching effect, that is, it won't brown. Fish is often done thus way. Good, but a different result. Without the oil, the breadcrumbs in wine would just become soggy. When you cook in oil, the chicken and breadcrumbs brown in the hot oil. If you want that effect without oil, put the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes per side (watch it carefully as it can burn quickly) . Then add the wine and cook until tender. I think you can do this broiler technique quite successfully with the breadcrumb coating -- just finish cooking in the oven if they're thick. I would never throw wine on top of breadcrumbs though. Again, they'll just become a soggy mess.

But the feelingI have about this is that olive oil is good for you, and a teaspoon or two - just a light coating of the pan - won't add that many calories. People often want to cut out all the fat from their diets, but still eat a lot of bread, pasta, and sweets, which make up most of the extra calories in their diets.

Hope that helps!

Regards, Ellen.

Low Fat Cooking

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Ellen Sue

Expertise

I can help you cook and eat delicious foods without the "bad" fats. I am particularly experienced in vegetarian cooking, especially tofu, but I am also experienced with fish and chicken (not as much with red meat). I particularly enjoy the heavily spiced foods of Asia. I feel you can avoid frying in a pool of oil and leave out those extra hunks of butter, and still enjoy wonderful food.

Experience

I've been cooking low-fat ever since I started cooking, about 30 years ago. Long-time subscriber to Cooking Light Magazine, which I highly recommend.

Education/Credentials
B.A. Sociology; M.A. International and Intercultural Communication. Technical writer, indexer, and adjunct professor of English Composition

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