Annette Sym
Annette Sym Cade Mooney

Cooking chicken the healthy way

WHEN I was a young girl many years ago, how I looked forward to Sundays as it was roast day. Chicken was a real treat in those days, yet nowadays most families will have chicken once or twice a week. You can bake it, grill it, stir-fry it, make it into a curry, you name it. Chicken is very versatile and enjoyed by young and old. You can dice, slice, flatten, mince or shred it to name but a few of the ways to use chicken in recipes.

A good way to crumb chicken the low-fat way is to beat an egg white with some low-fat milk and dip the flattened chicken breasts in egg mix, coat with bread crumbs then heat a good quality non-stick fry pan that has been generously coated with cooking spray, do a spray of the cooking oil over the one side of the chicken and fry in pan.

Before turning, spray top of the chicken then turn, cook both sides until browned and chicken is cooked through.

When cooking the breast, make sure you don't overcook it as it can result in it being very dry.

Chicken is a fairly lean white meat so it is a good choice for slimmers or for those wanting a low saturated fat diet.

I think it is best to avoid the dark meat on the chicken such as thigh and leg as these parts are higher in fat than the breast.

The fatty part of the chicken is the skin, it has heaps of fat, and it's saturated so you shouldn't have much of this in your diet at all.

Yes, I am telling you to remove the skin. I know that you may say that the best part of the chicken is that golden crunchy skin but not if you are on a healthy regime. For example a chicken breast with no skin has about 5g of fat but if you leave the skin on it changes to 13g of fat.

One BBQ chicken with skin and stuffing will cost around 80g of fat, but there is a simple solution to this. Remove all the skin and stuffing and the fat counts drops to around 21g of fat, a huge difference.

Chicken is an excellent source of protein, rich in most B vitamins.

If you like a sausage it is good to know that pork and beef sausages are higher in fat than those made with chicken.

When buying chicken mince make sure it has a pink look to it, if there are lots of white pieces in it the butcher has processed the skin into the mince, which makes it very high in fat.

Annette's cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-6 are sold in all good newsagencies.

Visit Annette's website for more tips and recipes, and join Annette's Facebook page at Symply Too Good.



  • 500g skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion
  • cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger (in jar)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic (in jar)
  • 4 tablespoons Tikka Masala curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt-reduced chicken stock powder
  • 1 x 400g can no-added-salt chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 375ml can evaporated light milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon imitation coconut essence
  • ½ cup (10g) fresh coriander leaves


Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.

Peel and cut onion into quarters then slice.

Generously spray a non-stick fry-pan with cooking spray and sauté chicken, ginger and garlic for 3 minutes. Add onion and toss with chicken cooking for a further 2 minutes.

Coat chicken with Tikka Masala paste then add stock powder and canned tomatoes. Combine well.

Once boiled, reduce to a slow boil until chicken is cooked through. Mix evaporated milk with cornflour and essence. Add to pan with coriander leaves and mix well. Once sauce has boiled, serve.

Variation: Replace chicken with lean rump steak, lamb leg steak or firm tofu.

Suitable to be frozen for 2-3 weeks.


Note from Annette

Indian food is traditionally very high in saturated fat so you will rarely see me in an Indian restaurant. Having said this, I love the flavours of Indian cuisine and instead enjoy recipes like this at home. I serve this curry with Basmati rice and a side salad. It is one of my top 10 favourite meals.

Dietitian's Tip

A fantastic way to have a smooth, coconut milk flavor, without the saturated fat, and an ideal way to achieve heart health. Annette has been very clever in using coconut essence with evaporated skim milk.


Nutritional Information: Chicken 



























1067 (cals 225)























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