Cooking with Chicken Thighs

Chicken is the most popular type of poultry, and it is the second most consumed meat in the world.

Chicken has leaner meat than most other types of poultry, like goose or duck.

Chicken thighs are a favorite cut of dark meat poultry for those who love to cook, due to the thighs flavor and tenderness.

Because dark meat contains more tendons, chicken thighs are a tough cut, but because they contain more fat than white meat, they are more tender and juicy.

The abundance of connective tissue not only makes them flavorful, but also forgiving of longer cooking times unlike breast meat, which tends to dry out quickly.

Is Chicken Thigh Meat Healthy To Eat

Some chicken parts contain fat. The organ meats contain the most fat, followed by the thigh and leg meat, and then the breast meat.

Chicken thighs as we all know is brown meat, and so is the fat.

Brown fat is a type of fat that stores energy in a small space. It creates heat and burns calories.

Most of the fat in chicken thighs are unsaturated, making it a healthier cut of meat over other fatty options.

And your body needs a certain intake of fat every day in order to create energy.

Nutritional Value Of Thigh Meat

Thigh meat contains more vitamins and a full spectrum of minerals. The vitamins include most of the B-vitamins, with vitamin – A and E, and folate as well.

The serving of chicken thigh meat provides you with 30% of the daily value (DV) for niacin, 15% of the DV for phosphorus, vitamin B-6 and zinc and 10% of the DV for riboflavin.

You need niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B-6 for turning the food you eat into energy and phosphorus and zinc for forming DNA.

On average, bone-in chicken thighs are about 6 ounces each, with about 3 to 4 ounces of edible meat.

Chicken thighs are an excellent source of protein. One serving of thigh meat, about 3 to 4 ounces contains around 14 grams of protein.

One medium chicken thigh with skin contains about 140 calories and 9 grams of fat. Where as, a skinless thigh contains 90 calories and 4 grams of fat.

Chicken skin can add delicious flavor and texture, though it can add fat and calories to the otherwise lean meat.

If you prefer your thigh with the bone in, but rather not eat the skin do to your concern about calories and fat, that’s okay.

You can reduce the calories and fat by removing the cooked skin before serving the meat.

A 2014 study by a Canadian research study group found that organic free-range chickens were lower in fat compared to caged chickens.

However, when the skin was removed there was no difference in fat content.

Chicken Skin Contains Large Amounts of Glycine

Collagen is good for the health of our skin. Our body produces collagen through the synthesis of amino acids.

The primary (non-essential) amino acid involved in Collagen synthesis is called glycine.

The most concentrated sources of glycine include meat cuts from near the bone, skin, and connective tissues of chicken meat.

Chicken thighs, including the skin, is one of the very best dietary sources of glycine. Per 100 grams of chicken thigh, there is a supply of approximately 1137 mg of glycine.

How Many Thighs Per Serving

When your cooking dinner, you always hope you make enough.

With chicken thighs, the meat on the bone can vary in weight.

Cooked and Platted Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs

The average package of four chicken thighs will weigh approximately 1 1/2 pounds .

One chicken thigh will yield about 3 to 4 ounces of meat, without skin or bone. Therefore, count on big eaters having two thighs.

And for lighter meat eaters, including children, usually one chicken thigh per person should be enough.

Chicken thighs are easier to cook. Even if they reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees, they’ll still be juicy.

Left over thigh meat when warmed is still juicy and tender.

According to Taste Asian Food – Asian chef’s prefer chicken thigh over breast meat and they say that chicken thigh meat is the most common cut of chicken used in Asian recipes because the meat is juicier and more tender than chicken breast meat.

So on your next trip to the market, get a package of chicken thighs and give yourself a head start on dinner, as this versatile cut of meat is flavor-packed and delicious.

Read more here about chicken breasts: Enhance Your Chicken Breasts With These Simple Maneuvers

Chicken Curry Soup

Chicken Curry Soup

This dish was really painless, effortless,  and simple to prepare. First for the painless part, it was cooked in a slow cooker. Just effortlessly add your ingredients to the slow cooker, and leave on low for 6 hours. How simple is that?

Chicken legs, thighs, and quarters are a low cost, versatile source of protein, chicken has long been a staple of diets around the globe. In fact, it is the world’s leading source of animal protein and has been a healthy alternative to red meat.

Thigh meat though by many who frown on fat, prefer not to consume it. Keep in mind that thigh meat is also high in protein as breast meat is, and the fat in the meat is needed by your cells for their protection from oxidation.

Also power builders will eat thigh meat over chicken breast because of the fat and protein content that help to build muscle and actually loss fat.

You can also remove the skin of the chicken before cooking it to reduce the fat content.

Nutritional Content of Chicken Quarters

100 grams or roughly ¼ pound of chicken quarters with skin has:

Calcium    880 mg

Phosphorus   500 mg

Potassium    210 mg

Sodium    8.0 mg

Zinc       0.2 mg

Here is what you will need:

3 pound of chicken leg quarters, skinless, if desired

2 ounces leek and potato soup mix

1 tablespoon curry powder

zest of 1/2 a lemon, grated

8 ounces green beans, trimmed and blanched

chicken-leg-quarters-added-to-slow-cooker-for-chicken-curry-soupTrim chicken of any fat, and remove skin (optional), and place into a 4 quart or bigger slow cooker.

Dried potoate leek soup mix and prepared organic Creamy Potato Leek soupNext the recipe calls for combining the curry and soup mix and sprinkling it over and around the meat, and adding water until chicken is barely covered. We found a dried soup mix at Albertson’s for $7.00, we felt it was expensive, but did buy it.

Then we made a trek over to the Whole Foods Market, and found a prepared organic Creamy Potato Leek soup for only $3.99 and on sale for $3.69. We went with the prepared soup from Whole Foods.

adding curry powder to Chicken Curry SoupAfter placing the chicken leg quarters in the slow cooker, add the soup, and 1 tablespoon of curry powder, and mix in thoroughly.  Turn your slow cooker to high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours, and place the lid over the slow cooker.

blanched green beans for Chicken Curry SoupThe beans are added to the slow cooker 1 hour before the meat is cooked. Trim the fresh green beans and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes only. Remove from water and drop beans into some ice cold water for 3 minutes, to stop them from continuing to cook. Remove from cold water, and add to slow cooker, and mix in well.

Chicken Curry Soup in slow cooker ready to plateNext add zest from 1/2 a lemon, and mix in well. Cover slow cooker with lid, and continue cooking one hour more.

Chicken Curry Soup with a side of white ricePlate and serve the Chicken Curry Soup with a side of rice. You can also top with more lemon zest. Enjoy!!

If you have any questions about the use of a slow cooker, such as are they safe to cook with, view our article: Slow Cooking, is it Safe?

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Vegetable Gardening and Raising Chickens the Organic Way

organic vegetable gardenWhether you’re on a budget, aren’t sure of the authenticity of local organics or both, the surest and cheapest way to get good organic food is by growing your own. And growing your own can be as simple or as involved as you want.

If you’re a first-time gardener, the trick is not to overwhelm yourself. Keep your garden relatively small, but leave room for expansion when you’re ready. A family of 4 can start with about 200 square feet (approximately 50 square feet per person) and have a great supply of produce. But if you don’t want to start that big, don’t. Do what you’d like and what you can.

organic tomato growing in a potIf you don’t have a lot of space, containers work well. Root vegetables may not be possible but some people report great success in growing potatoes in compost bags. Other traditional container fare includes tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, carrots, peppers, strawberries, blueberries and herbs.

If you are growing in the ground, there are a couple of things to consider. First, is the amount of sunlight. The second is soil quality.

For sunlight, you should find a space that gets what’s full sun. That’s about 8 hours of sun each day. Some items may need a little less sun, but 8 hours will help you grow a large variety.

For soil quality, you are looking for a pH of about 5.8 – 6.8 and you can buy an inexpensive testing kit at a garden store. You can increase pH, or correct acidity, by adding limestone. To decrease pH, or to correct alkalinity, use elemental limestone. Also, ensure that you have plenty of organic material in your soil and add leaves and compost to help.

If your soil isn’t quite right, you can make raised beds and surround them with bricks or stone to contain the nutrient rich and balanced soil.

When you’re ready to start planting, consider planting some plant starts, instead of seeds. They may be a little more difficult to find organically, but for first time growers, they’re much easier to work with.

Make sure to water your plants regularly. Seeds should be watered daily. New plants should be watered every 2-3 days. On particularly hot days, you may need to do more. You can even collect rain water for your plants by using rain barrels or creating your own from garbage pails.

watering can

Organic herbicides don’t work that well. Instead, take the time to pull weeds, ensuring you grab the weeds fully by their roots or they will continue to grow. Weeding regularly will keep them from maturing and becoming problematic…plus it makes your whole job quicker and easier.

As you go through your gardening journey, keep a record. Write down dates things are planted, how they are treated and progress. Take weather and other conditions into consideration. It will allow you figure out what worked well and help you improve your gardening techniques, year after year.

You may not feel like a green thumb now, but keep at it. It’s so worth it. Now let’s talk about raising chickens.

Backyard Chickens: Tips for Getting Started, his will be our theme.

organic chicken eggsA few years ago, it seemed a little bizarre that someone would keep chickens in their backyard. These days, no one bats an eye at this inexpensive and rewarding way to feed the family.

There are a few reasons why people raise chickens:

– Obviously, for the fresh eggs
– Natural removal of weeds and bugs
– Save money
– It’s pretty easy, once you get started

Of course, always check local laws about raising chickens in your yard and ensure you’re in compliance before you start. You can purchase chickens from a variety of suppliers. You can actually hatch eggs or raise chicks, but they are more work than a grown chicken. Keep your climate in mind, the egg size you want and whether or not the chicken will be raised strictly for eggs. You can use the handy tool here to select a breed.

One chicken will lay about 4-6 eggs per week, but they generally lay less in colder months, so keep this in mind when planning their space.

Raising Chickens

To raise chickens, you can have them running free, but a coop provides protection from the elements and predators, so make a plan to build one. A coop should provide about 2-3 square feet per hen and for the outside area; each hen should have about 5 square feet of space. In a coop they can peck each other without enough space, so never try to cram them in.

As you build, keep seasonal temperatures in mind. Make sure air can get through in summer and keep it from going through in winter. You can even use a tarp to keep air from blowing through and remove it, as needed. Use a slanted roof to let rain roll off, if you live in a rainy area.

Inside the coop, use pine shavings for the flooring. This makes it comfortable for the chickens and easy for clean up as you scoop out and replace the shavings. Provide plenty of roosting space. They will also need nesting space. Wooden boxes work well for this.

You can feed chicken store-bought feed pellets. They also love vegetables scraps, bread and bugs. Give them fresh water regularly, keep their area clean and you’ll have happy chickens. Check on them daily and collect their eggs each day as well. Eggs can go bad quickly in warm weather and in cold weather; they can freeze, expand and crack.

Hand feeding Chickens

If you have young children, always supervise them with the chickens. Chickens will peck to defend themselves and although it won’t take a child too long to learn this, you need to be there to ensure proper handling of the chickens. In addition, live poultry can carry salmonella. Everyone should wash their hands thoroughly and immediately after handling the chickens or being in your chicken’s area.

Overall, having chickens can be a very rewarding experience and many people come to see chickens as part of their family. It is a long term commitment because chickens can live for 12 years or more. Just care for them, protect them and they will serve you well.

Next theme link here:  Nine Things to Consider When Storing Organic Food

 

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