Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Whole Fowl and Nothing But

Nature intended us to eat our meat whole. What does that mean? When you purchase your chickens, turkeys, and other poultry, don't opt for the skinless, boneless variety unless a recipe specifically calls for it to turn out correctly. The skin contains healthy fat needed by the body, and its a good source of energy. Poultry eaten with the skin on is more digestible and absorbed by the body more efficiently. You don't have to count calories when you eat healthy, whole foods. Chicken and turkey meat is no exception.

Everywhere you look, popular health rhetoric recommends removing the skin for less fat content, but the skin actually contains vitamins and nutrients as well as the healthy fat. So removing the skin can actually be harmful to your health. Just remember, anytime a food is altered or changed from its original state designed by nature, it becomes less beneficial to consume. When you remove the components of the whole from nature's creation, what remains is simply not as healthy. Chicken with the skin is always more moist and, therefore, more delicious as well.

Dark meat has also received a bad reputation as containing saturated fat, but it is also extremely healthy to consume and is a nice change from the traditional selections of white meat. Natural, saturated fats are an important part of a complete diet. Dark meat contains more nutrients and is juicier too, adding to its delectable flavor. These pieces contain more zinc, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, Vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, folate, selenium, phosphorus, and iron.

Try cooking your dark meat parts (like thighs and legs) in Coq au Vin , a fantastic French recipe which is a stew-like meal that is hearty as well as delicious. Many mistakenly believe French food is too rich and unhealthy, but if you use whole ingredients and don't skimp on quality, you will create a fabulous and satisfyingly healthy meal. You will then realize that the French have always known how to eat!

If your recipe does require the skin and bones to be removed, save all of it and use it for chicken stock for soup or gravy. Don't waste money by throwing away poultry parts - you can create another entire meal out of it.

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