Fried chicken is for dinner tonight, and you know it isn’t the healthiest thing to eat, but so what? Your craving is calling your name, and besides, you’re having green beans and rosemary potatoes on the side. That should make up for the fried food right? Of course. But another healthy thing you can do with the fried chicken is cook it in healthy oil.
My Oil’s Not Healthy?
Depending on which oil you use for cooking, it may be toxic. Some popular oils are canola oil, seed oils, vegetable oils, and peanut oil. However, these oils are not good to cook with. Seed oils are highly refined and rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which stimulate an inflammatory response in the body. A diet rich in omega-6 contributes to inflammatory conditions, such as allergies, heart disease, and cancers. The issue with most nut oils is that they are high in polyunsaturated fats, which oxidize at high temperatures, and create an inflammatory response within the body as well. Canola oil is made up primarily of monounsaturated fats, and contains a good balance of omega fatty acids. However, the methods used to process canola oil involve harmful solvents such as hexane.
Why healthy oils?
There’s no need to add fuel to the fire. Choose oils that contribute to the flavor and nutritional value of your meal, and boost your overall health.
What healthy oils?
Olive oil and avocado oil are great oils for frying chicken. Both oils are primarily made up of monounsaturated fats, and are anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, beneficial in heart health, and both lower blood pressure. In addition, avocado oil regulates blood sugar, and aids in nutrient absorption. Olive oil protects the lower digestive tract, and promotes bone health.
Sounds Great! Which Do I Use?
I frequently cook with both olive oil and avocado oil, though my choice for frying chicken is olive oil, hands down. I always season my chicken with seasoned salt, pepper, garlic and onion, and according to my taste buds, these seasonings are enhanced by the rich flavor of olive oil. My go-to brands are California Olive Ranch and Kirkland Signature. California Olive Ranch is a cold-pressed olive oil, and Bragg is organic. Both have the characteristic rich flavor of olive oil, with a taste that is mildly fruity and slightly peppery. California Olive Ranch is the better of the two because it is cold-pressed, resulting in a higher nutrient profile.
I always have avocado oil in my kitchen, but it is not my oil of choice for frying chicken. The advantages to avocado oil are that it can withstand high heat cooking, up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit, and it doesn’t have the same greasy smell as olive oil while it is cooking. But in addition to not having much of a smell, it isn’t flavorful like olive oil either. Avocado oil has a slight buttery flavor, which isn’t particularly noticeable, so it adds nothing to the taste of fried chicken. If you prefer not to use olive oil, or you’re interested in trying avocado oil for its health benefits, I recommend the brand Ellyndale Organics. For a 16.9 ounce bottle, you’ll pay a good price compared to other brands.
No No Coconut oil!
The consensus is that the healthiest cooking oil is coconut oil. However, it is not the best oil for frying chicken. Aside from the fact that the flavor of coconut oil clashes with the seasonings, it isn’t very absorbent. I have found that it takes an extremely long time to cook meat in coconut oil. And unless you have an appreciation for sweet meat, even slightly, I suggest sticking with olive oil or avocado oil.
Chuck the canola oil or vegetable oil, and use some delicious, nutritious olive oil instead. Your heart and bones will thank you for it, and so will your pallet!