Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fried (not) Italian Chicken in the Oven with Hazelnuts

A guilt free fried chicken and very tasty.  Everyone loves fried chicken once in a while, but with our health conscious society and adopting "healthy options" in our daily nutrition, this recipe is not just delicious, but very satisfying and guilt free.

I learned this recipe many years ago when I was just starting to play in the kitchen in my 20's.  I had several friends from Greece and from the middle east at the time and I learned from them, to use yogurt in savory cooking.  At that time, I had no idea that yogurt could be used for cooking other than for a breakfast item.  I did not grow up eating yogurt at all; as a matter of fact, the first time I ever tried yogurt was in my 20's with my friends and it was not a store purchased yogurt in a container, it was the real thing, made at home by my friends whom had learned these skills from their mothers & grandmothers.    It was beyond delicious!  They served it with fruit at the bottom of the bowl or honey and then yogurt on top.  Nothing else, that was it and it was delicious.  I learned how to make yogurt from my dear friends and then I learned to incorporate it into my savory and sweets.  Have you ever tried a brownie made with yogurt?  It's delicious and very healthy!

Spending time in the kitchen and recreating recipes is one of my passions; it's actually, every chef's passion.  You recreate a dish that is to your liking with your favorite herbs, spices and ingredients.  This recipe is written with Italian spices and with hazelnuts, but you can change it to be a Moroccan fried chicken with Moroccan spices and add walnuts or almonds, an Indian fried chicken with Indian spices, a Greek fried chicken with oregano and served with yogurt Tzatziki sauce or a Mexican fried chicken and serve it with salsa and beans or even better, a Jamaican/Caribbean fried chicken and topping it with a mango salsa!  I've tried all these at home through the years and it is quite delicious, but it is also fun to feed my family different meals by changing the spices and the side dishes.  Create what you like by changing the spices in this recipe and enjoy a different way to eat a healthier and tastier meal without the guilt.  

Fried Italian Chicken Breast in the Oven with Hazelnuts

Leftovers you say?  Oh yes!  Next day for lunch, slice the chicken breast and eat it on a bed of organic greens! 

Salad for lunch


Buon Appetito!