Versatile Food Showcase: Chicken

July 06, 2011

Thanks to James Kim from for this guest post on the value and versatility of chicken!

Save money and cut back your food waste by buying versatile foods at the grocery store. Chicken is by far the most versatile lean meat out there. Implement this poultry into your meal planning to get creative in the kitchen!

Nutritional Facts:

Chicken is a great source of lean protein and can provide 67.6% of the daily protein value in only 4 ounces.  The skin of the chicken contains the majority of the fat so be sure to remove skin if you are looking for a health-conscious meal. This lean meat also contains minerals such as phosphorus, selenium, zinc, and iron, in addition to vitamins like niacin (a cancer-protective B vitamin), vitamin B6, B12, and D. Delicious and nutritious!


Broiled, Poached Roasted, and Grilled, chicken can be cooked in a variety of ways, making it one of the most versatile forms of protein.

Try stir-frying chicken with sesame oil, soy sauce, bell peppers, onions, carrots, celery, peanuts, garlic, broccoli and egg for a colorful and veggie-ful treat.

A bread-crusted chicken is another easy-to-make crowd-pleaser. Whisk an egg, dip the chicken breast into the egg and then dip the chicken in nut, parmesan, or bread crust. Pan-cook until golden brown or bake on a rack for 30 minutes for a healthier option.

Last but not least, grilling a chicken can retain all of its juices and give you maximum flavor. Marinate the chicken overnight in a marinade of your choice. My personal favorite? Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Simple, yet satisfying.


The best part about chicken? Its epic shelf-life. You can store chicken in the freezer for up to 9 months! If freezing for longer than about 2 months, you may want to overwrap the original store packaging with aluminum foil, freezer paper, or plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Defrost chicken in cold water or in the fridge. Boneless chicken breasts will usually defrost overnight in the fridge, whereas bone-in chicken may take another day or so. Rinsing the frozen chicken under cold water is the best way to defrost chicken if you are in a time-crunch.

Only keep raw chicken in the fridge for about 2 days and make sure to keep the original packaging closed until you’re ready to cook it up. Cooked chicken can last 3-4 days.

Chicken is easy to prepare and even easier to devour. Cash in on this versatile food to save your wallet and your taste-buds.

James Kim is a writer for  Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services.  Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.

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