Diet Dilemma

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by the novice, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. the novice

    the novice

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    So I will soon be participating in a marathon and i am putting myself on the caveman diet.

    This is my regimen:

    Meal #1: 8:30 am

    4 eggs: 2 egg whites and 3 whole eggs (no oil)

    500ml-1L water

    1 Tbsp natural almond or peanut butter

    Meal #2: 11:00 am

    ½ cottage cheese (0% or 2%, Plain)

    Salad

    500ml-1L water

    10 almonds

    Meal #3: 1:30 pm

    5oz of lean chicken breast (no oil)

    Salad with olive oil (2tbsp)

    500ml-1L water

    Meal #4: 4:30pm

    250g of Greek yoghurt ((0% or 2%, Plain)

    500ml-1L water

    1 Tbsp natural almond or peanut butter

    Meal #5: 7:00 pm

    5oz of chicken breast (no oil)

    Salad with olive oil (2tbsp)

    500ml-1L water

    Meal #6: 9:00pm

     4 whole eggs

    So their are some caveats.  I can't cook with oil, can't eat any fruit, little to no salt, but spices are okay as are vegetables ( I can cook with spices and vegetables as well)

    The problem is chicken breast.  The way i cook it is i take frozen skinless boneless chicken breasts, thaw them, dice them, throw them into a non-stick pot with some spices, chopped jalapeno peppers, lemon juice, and diced onions and cook everything till their is little water in the pot/coming from the chicken.  When i warm it up, just measure out 5oz, put in a small pot with water, and warm up.

    But i am finding it too dry.

    What i am asking, i need a different way to cook the chicken so that i get flavour and moistness (is that a word?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  2. the novice

    the novice

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    For my eggs, i tried making an omelette a la Jacques Pepin with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and chile powder but alas, it still tasted like eggs......
     
  3. queequeg

    queequeg

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    I know your diet says little to no salt, but I'm going to suggest brining your chicken after it's thawed. An hour's soak in a brine with 1/2 cup of salt to a gallon of water isn't really going to add a significant amount of salt to your intake but it will dramatically increase the moisture content of your chicken.

    Also, I can't imagine there's a reason you can't "borrow" 25mg of that Greek yogurt to mix with some flavorful spices and use it as a marinade. The yogurt will help tenderize your chicken and again, keep it moist. If you can borrow a tablespoon of oil from your salad (two tablespoons is probably more than you'll find appetizing on a salad) you can use it to cook the chicken and probably lower your total fat intake, too.

    As for cooking methods, I'm not sure your current technique is getting you the best chicken for your situation. I'd suggest you either want to go hot and fast or low and slow. Also, I'm going to assume you don't have a sous vide or other specialty equipment.

    Hot and Fast:
    • pound your brined breast into a thin cutlet, sear quickly on a cast iron grill pan
    • pound your brined and yogurt/spice marinated breast into a thin cutlet, dust with the tiniest amount of cornstarch then sear in a nonstick skillet (ideally with that borrowed tablespoon of oil)
    • cut your brined, marinated breast into slightly larger than bite size pieces, spread on a silpat lined baking sheet. Give it ~8 minutes per pound at 450, turn the chicken pieces over then broil for ~3 minutes
    Low and Slow:
    • Throw your frozen breasts in a slow cooker with some aromatics and a bit of water. Cook on low until you can shred it easily. Use the shredded chicken as the base protein for a variety of recipes, or tossed in with your salad.
    • Cook a tagine. Obviously an actual clay tagine cooking vessel is ideal, but you can do it on the lowest setting of your simmer burner, or even in a moderate oven, using a dutch oven. Search online for a recipe you like. I do a mostly vegetarian tagine once a week or so with big hunks of eggplant, onion and cauliflower. Paula Wolfert recipes are good starting points for your search.
    Good luck with your marathon!
     
    the novice likes this.
  4. the novice

    the novice

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    How would i use a sous vide?