To lose weight now and keep it off for life, the most important Skinny Truth to remember is to Eat More Things That Grow and Fewer Things That Walk.
But “easing up on the animal,” doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite meals–like a comforting roasted chicken dinner– you’re just going to cook and serve them in a new and skinnier way.
Once a week, I make an Easy and Herb-y Roasted Chicken. I love that I can spend just 5 minutes seasoning a bird, pop it in the oven and not think about it until it’s done; and how my house is filled with a delicious aroma that reminds me of the joy of Thanksgiving without the stress of extended family. (Dear extended family who read this: of course, I do not mean you…)
But instead of following the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe I once used–which called for coating the bird in butter to get the skin crisp and golden–I now season it only with herbs and spices but achieve the same result by using one of my favorite Skinny Tools, a simple 6 dollar roasting stand which cooks the bird upright…
Not only does this vertical roasting technique allow the fat to drip away–which gives your bird perfectly crispy skin–you’ll also have extra room to roast 2 or 3 skinny side dishes in the same oven at the same time… Which makes it easy to make sure that 80 percent of what goes on your plate–and in your mouth–is plant and not animal… keeping the calorie count for that big meal low but the satisfaction high.
And the added bonus of filling your plate with 80 percent veg? After feeding a family of 4, you’ll still have plenty of leftover chicken to turn into salads, soups or other dishes that will save you time and effort for days to come!
So embrace the bird this super skinny and easy way!
EASY AND HERB-Y ROASTED CHICKEN WITH CRISPY SKIN
A couple notes on ingredients:
Since you’ll be filling yourself up with 80 percent vegetables, you’ll be eating less bird…so you might consider buying a better bird. One that is organically and locally raised without hormones or antibiotics will cost more, but it will have much fresher taste and texture and be much better for your body (and the planet.)
You’ll also see I don’t call for any salt to be added to the chicken…that’s because Old Bay Seasoning contains sodium and, for health and weight, keeping sodium low is a good thing.
2 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1 t dried thyme
black or red pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 and move your rack to the second to lowest position. (Doing this makes sure your chicken won’t get too close to the top heating element and still leaves you an extra rack to roast other side dishes.)
Stand the bird upright on the roasting stand in a baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking oil (to ease clean up later ) and pop it in the oven.
Using your insta-read thermometer, check the deepest part of the thigh and breast, you want the meat to reach 160-165 degrees before you pull the bird from the oven. For a 5 pound chicken, it may be ready after an hour and twenty minutes, for 6-pounder, it may need an hour and a half….
If you like, you can pour the drippings into a fat separator and pass just the juices, not the fat, at the table when you serve. Or, should you want to serve your chicken on a salad, use those juices, a little lemon and a little Dijon mustard to make a warm dressing!
DON’T FORGET YOUR SKINNY SIDES
The key to making a roasted chicken dinner a super skinny supper is to make sure you only eat a 200 calorie 4-ounce piece of chicken (which will be about the size of a deck of cards), and fill the rest of your plate with veggie sides. Because you can cook them in the same oven at the same time as you roast the chicken, it’s easy to have 3 or 4 side dishes…it takes just a little planning to get the timing right..
If you want Thyme and Wine Carrots or Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash, or Butternut Squash with Indian Spices or just a tray of simple roasted root vegetables, you’ll need to put them in 45 minutes to an hour before your chicken is done.
Roasted green beans take just 12 -15 minutes. And Asparagus with Parmesan, well, that’s the easiest of them all… it only takes 8 minutes!
So, as long as that oven is already on, use it to roast as many veggie sides as you can so you can build your inventory!
And don’t forget, since you’ll have some extra time on your hands while your oven is doing all of the work, you might consider using your microwave to turn a head of cauliflower into a quick batch of Mock Mashed Potatoes…which will make this supper so rich and satisfying you’ll forget it’s actually skinny!
RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-CYCLE
Having chicken in your refrigerator can be a real life saver in days to come..Use it to make a fresh Grilled Vegetable Salad a la The Ivy the next day or Skinny and Speedy Tortilla Soup later in the week. And don’t forget, cooked chicken can be frozen for a few weeks…just bag and freeze 1 or 2 cup portions to add to chili, soups or stews later in the month!