Chicken, especially the breast, is one of the healthiest sources of animal protein you can eat. Frying is not the healthiest way to go when cooking chicken, but that still leaves a lot of options. You won’t find a simple answer to whether or not it’s better to broil or bake a chicken because there are too many variables. It will all depend on what you add to it, how you are eliminating fat during cooking and whether or not you leave the skin on.
Baking and broiling are two healthy ways to cook chicken, but you need to be careful about what else you are adding into the pan. A low-fat or fat-free marinade with herbs, balsamic vinegar, broth or wine will keep your baked chicken from ruining your diet, but if you only like baked chicken in a cream-laden casserole or drenched in butter, you are better off broiling it with some barbecue or soy sauce.
Skip The Skin
The skin on the chicken is a major source of fat. Removing it is a great way to make your recipe much healthier. You may find it’s easier to remove the skin after you cook the chicken. Keeping the skin on during cooking can also help your chicken retain more moisture, though it will also keep a bit of the fat. If you plan on cooking your chicken with the skin on, it’s simpler to remove it after baking than broiling, where the high temperature may sear the skin.
Remove The Fat
When you are trying to eat healthy, keeping fat out of your diet is important. Use the cooking method that is most effective for removing excess fat from the final dish. Even if you remove the skin, you will have fat drippings in your pan. In order to make healthy baked chicken, don’t use the pan drippings in gravy; instead use a fat-free bouillon. When grilling, put the chicken on a tray with holes that lets the fat drip into another pan.
In addition to broiling or baking chicken to keep it healthy, don’t rule out other options to give yourself some variety. Stir-fry chicken in a small amount of healthy fat, such as olive oil, with lots of vegetables. Serve braised chicken by pan-searing it and then simmering it in liquid to keep in the moisture. Poaching chicken in a broth – or even water with some wine or seasoning – is another way to cook a healthy and flavorful dish.
Marcia Frost is a writer covering travel, food, wine/spirits, and health. She writes for many on and offline publications, including The Daily Meal, Girls Getaway, Travelhoppers, and Princess Cruises.She also has a popular blog, Wine And SpiritsTravel. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Long Island University.