Last Call for Chicken and Honey

September, National Chicken and National Honey Month, is nearly over!  If you haven’t indulged in either over the past few weeks, it isn’t too late.  Both of these foods give us plenty to celebrate!

Before I give you a recipe combining these two delectable ingredients, let’s talk about nutrition.  First up: honey.  Humans have been collecting honey for at least 8,000 years. In that time, we have used honey as a sweetener, food preservative, gift for the afterlife, prebiotic, and everything in between.  Honey seems to make everything better.
honey3
Everyone knows that honey is delicious, but nutritionally, it has the added benefit of a high concentration of antioxidants.  The honey’s floral source determines its antioxidant level.  If you want to figure out how healthy your honey is, remember this tip: darker honeys typically have a higher antioxidant content than lighter colored honeys.

honey 1

Honey provides 64 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates per 1 tablespoon serving.  Despite being created through a natural process, honey is still a concentrated sweet made up fructose, glucose, and maltose.  Keep those facts in mind when eating honey, and do so in moderation!

Now that we’ve discussed our sweet September ingredient, let’s talk about the other one! Chicken is a staple in the diet of many Americans – baked, battered, or barbecued, grilled, breaded, or fried.  According to historians, chickens were the first animals humans ever domesticated.  It seems that early on, people recognized the value of chicken eggs and meat!
honey2

As a complete protein, chicken contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Better yet, chicken is a lean protein –  meaning that it is not a significant source of fat – and an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, and zinc.  There’s no shame in crossing the road for chicken!

Since there aren’t many days left in September to enjoy our celebrated ingredients separately, we found a recipe that combines them.  Ready? Let’s get cooking!

Honey Glazed Chicken

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
half a lemon
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dark soy sauce

 Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Put 2 chicken breasts, skin removed, in a small baking dish and season.
3. Squeeze the lemon into a bowl and stir in the honey and soy sauce. Spoon the mixture over the chicken, then tuck the squeezed-out half of lemon between the pieces (this will moisten and add flavor to the chicken).
4. Roast the chicken breasts in a baking dish, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes in a preheated oven. Cook until done and richly glazed, basting with the juices at least twice. To check if they are done, prod the chicken with your finger – if it’s still a bit soft, give it a bit longer.
5. Enjoy!

– Ali, Dietetic Intern

References
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3109/honey-glazed-chicken
http://www.honey.com/images/uploads/general/refguide.pdf
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-the-chicken-conquered-the-world-87583657/?no-ist=&page=2
http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/chicken-the-preferred-protein-for-your-health-and-budget/

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