Low-Fat Chicken Breasts with an Asian Glaze ("Lean and Lively")
Recipe: Low-Fat Chicken Breasts with an Asian Glaze ("Lean and Lively")
The twist to the marinade is maple syrup--in this case, sugar-free maple syrup. There are several sugar-free maple syrups on the market. Some are flavored with Nutrasweet and some with Splenda. None of them are NO calorie. They range from 10 calories to 35 calories for a quarter cup. In this recipe for 4 people, you are going to only use 2 tablespoons of this syrup and--BONUS--most of the marinade stays in the bag when you take out the chicken, so there's only a smidge of calories from the syrup.
Combine the syrup with a little soy sauce, rice vinegar and a few dashes of hot sauce and you get a flavor sensation! Then I try to make sure the side dish makes sense with the meat. A side dish that works well is Grilled Scallions and Cherry Tomatoes.
A grill pan that you can use in the house is a godsend for this dish. When you grill something, to start off you get beautiful grill marks that make it look much more appealing. Appealing tastes better. By finishing it in the oven, you keep the juices in the meat.
4 skinless chicken breasts, no more than 7 oz each
2 Tbl low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbl sugar-free maple syrup
1 Tbl white rice wine vinegar
A few dashes of hot pepper sauce (This is up to your taste. I put in a quarter teaspoon and it was still not a hot dish; just flavorful.)
Olive oil spray
Wash and rinse your chicken. Then put it in a large, sealable plastic storage bag. To the bag add the soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar and hot sauce. Swish the chicken around after you seal the bag and get the marinade to coat the chicken. Then let it sit in your refrigerator for the afternoon. Turn it once or twice to keep the marinade coating the chicken. You can even store this overnight if necessary.
Get out your grill pan. Spray it lightly with olive oil spray. Take the chicken out of the marinade one piece at a time with a tong and place it in the hot grill pan with the top side down. Grill on Medium High for a few minutes until you have nice grill mark stripes on the chicken. You can take your tongs and peek by tilting one side of the chicken up.
When the chicken has grill marks, transfer it to an ovenproof pan or Pyrex baking dish and put it in your 400-degree oven. DO NOT wash the grill pan. Bake the chicken for 20 to 30 minutes. You can check for when it's done by slicing a little bit into the thickest portion of the meat. If the juices run clear and the meat is not pink, the chicken is done. Turn oven off and let the chicken sit in there while you prepare a side dish and/or salad. (You'll have 20 to 30 minutes.)
This dish is pretty enough to serve to guests with a small side salad on the plate, so don't be afraid to do that. Even just plain romaine with vinaigrette will be great. I used a fat-free dressing with ginger in it to go along with the Asian theme.
Serve the chicken and a side dish (if you choose to have one) on a dinner plate. The light side salad will round out the meal and give you some crunch. You are also likely to have some "sauce or au jus" in the pan. A little dab of it will do (a tablespoon drizzled), but even sauce-free, it's great.
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