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No need to forfeit flavor for healthy grilled chicken

Published July 5, 2006

Chicken takes to the grill as tastily as just about anything else that people love to cook out. It's easy to find ways to make delicious dishes that are healthy for the family, too - recipes are available.

For example: Cooking Light magazine's Chicken cookbook (Oxmoor, 2006, $17.95) packages 58 recipes, with a defined focus: "To eat smart, be fit, live well."

Among the offerings is this lemon and oregano-rubbed chicken recipe. As with all the recipes in this orderly book, it's laid out on one page, along with notes on techniques, nutrition details and a small photo; a full-page photo runs on the facing page.

For this recipe, the editors recommend pounding the chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they're thin, because the increased surface allows you to use even more of the flavorful rub. Using the pounding technique on the chicken not only tenderizes the meat but also shortens the cooking time and gives the appearance of a heartier portion.

Don't use more than the amount of lemon rind called for, they warn: It can make the dish bitter instead of tart. One medium lemon will yield at least 1 teaspoon grated rind.

Lemon and Oregano-Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

5 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon olive oil

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon water

2 garlic cloves, minced

Cooking spray

4 lemon wedges

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Prepare grill.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to ¼-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients, and rub evenly over both sides of chicken. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from heat. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge evenly over each chicken breast half. Sprinkle parsley evenly over chicken.

Makes 4 servings (serving size 1 chicken breast half).

Nutrition information per serving: 226 calories, 5.6g total fat (1g saturated), 39.6g protein, 2.2g carbohydrates, 0.7g fiber, 99mg cholesterol, 465mg sodium.

[Last modified July 5, 2006, 09:39:54]

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