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Seasoning chicken without salt

DrezDrez Registered User regular
Hi, I was thinking:

- Summer: Dry rub some sand into it before cooking
- Winter: Wet rub some snow into it before cooking
- Spring: Leave it out in the rain both before, during, and after cooking
- Autumn (aka Fall): I dunno...just step on it or whatever. Maybe throw acorns at it

OK jokes aside, some of you may know, I recently had a medical situation that requires me to significantly alter my diet which was mostly garbage. I explained to the doctors that my diet was essentially a fatty, meaty, cheese, greasy ball of garbage that nary a vegetable graced. I had severe hypertension which is probably what led to various other complications.

I've been eating nuts, fruits, some greens, peanut butter, and various other things in a conscious effort to reduce my weight, carbs, sugar, cholesterol, salt, and weight (listed twice because I need to lose a lot of weight).

I just bought a ton of chicken. Usually I would take raw chicken it out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before I cooked it and salt it all over. But...I don't think it's wise to salt it anymore. So what are some good and tasty alternatives? Note, I plan on using my air fryer for cooking the chicken.

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  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited February 15
    I'm of the opinion that it's hard to go wrong with garlic or black pepper, especially if the only opinions you need to worry about are your own.

    Edit: also, honestly curry powder is basically cheating if you want something to taste good.

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    You can use lemon juice to reduce the amount of salt needed to make the chicken taste better.

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  • RandomEncounterRandomEncounter Registered User regular
    A little salt shouldn't hurt, and there are low sodium salts available as well. That being said, the world is your oyster here. Onion and garlic powders have a permanent place in my pantry for just such an occasion. Cumin and paprika work pretty well, or a mixed taco seasoning.

    Baked with feta cheese and olives, maybe throw in some peppers, you have a mediterranean-ish dish.

    pile it in a crock pot with some liquid smoke and molasses, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder you can make some decent pulled chicken.

    There are a lot of options.

    Cook it with some lemongrass and peppers in some low sodium chicken broth (or veggie), throw in some fish sauce, some other veg, maybe some tofu. Deliciousness in a bowl.

    Dredge it in corn starch and garlic powder, then an egg wash, then some panko (or is you're carb watching, some coconut powder), easy fried chicken.

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  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit Tandem Electrostatic Accelerator Registered User regular
    One thing that can help is to get a scale that can do 1/10th of gram increments and measure your salt out that way to control the amount. That's what I did when I needed to cut my salt intake. You will look like you are measuring drugs whenever you cook dinner, though.

    Read the label on other seasonings like soy sauce and dose accordingly. Soy sauce in particular has an insane amount of salt in it.

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  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    You could do any variety of spice blend without salt.

    Garlic and onion powders add a lot of flavour, any different types of the red spicy-hot spices (cayenne, chilli, paprika, etc).

    :so_raven:
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  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Yup as others have said, there are tons of salt-free or low sodium versions of herbal spice mixes out there.

    Mrs. Dash is probably the most famous of them and comes in a variety of flavors

    I'm a champion of Penzey's Spices Blends and they make a bunch of salt free and low sodium blends that are absolutely amazing:

    https://www.penzeys.com/shop/spices/?categoryId=115

    These are probably some of my favorites and are incredibly versatile.
    https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/herbes-de-provence/c-24/p-177/pd-s
    https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/mural-of-flavor/c-24/p-219/pd-s
    https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/sunny-paris-seasoning/c-24/p-276/pd-s
    https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/tuscan-sunset/c-24/p-319/pd-s

    Thro
  • Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco Registered User regular
    you might consider potassium salts or MSG as alternate salt-like seasonings

    MSG has about two thirds the sodium by volume and potassium salt is often a mix of potassium chloride into regular sodium chloride salt, you'll likely find it as Half Salt or LoSalt

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    MSG was made for this exact situation!

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    you might consider potassium salts or MSG as alternate salt-like seasonings

    MSG has about two thirds the sodium by volume and potassium salt is often a mix of potassium chloride into regular sodium chloride salt, you'll likely find it as Half Salt or LoSalt

    It might be 2/3rds the sodium, but because we taste it so strongly, it can replace NaCl at ~ 10:1 ratio when used in food.

    1g of MSG will taste similar to 10g of NaCl table salt

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    A controlled amount of sauce on the side also helps. BBQ or whatever.

    It sounds like you're already doing a good job by replacing your unhealthy diet with other options to begin with. Don't start depriving yourself of basic seasoning.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
    Kayne Red Robe
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    you might consider potassium salts or MSG as alternate salt-like seasonings

    MSG has about two thirds the sodium by volume and potassium salt is often a mix of potassium chloride into regular sodium chloride salt, you'll likely find it as Half Salt or LoSalt

    Madison Square Garden seems rather large to put in my chicken, but I can try it.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Also, thanks everyone. I’m gonna look this over tonight/tomorrow and will go to the store and cook this chicken tomorrow.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    How about better than boullion? Mix concentrated stock with a little bit of oil and spread it over the chicken - you can use low sodium versions and control sodium content while getting a bunch of Umami flavor guaranteed to complement the chicken

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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    One thing to keep in mind that happened to me when I lowered my salt intake: Eventually, your tastebuds will adapt. I find a lot of prepackaged food SUPER salty now. Like, unpleasantly so.

    So if you think something is kind of bland, just give it time.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited February 18
    Herb de Provence is good, some Old World blends with paprika and tumeric. Garam Masala for a big kick, or some Italian blends with oregano, basil, etc.

    If it's no salt them cut it out, but if it's much less salt, I'd suggest kosher; less sodium but packs bigger bang with the larger crystals. Of course check with your doc.

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  • Kayne Red RobeKayne Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    I like rosemary on chicken quite a bit, I usually mix up some of that, some pepper, some thyme and some garlic and use it to season poultry.

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Mushroom powders and other non-salt umami seasonings can also help bring out the "meatiness" in foods.

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  • AtheraalAtheraal Registered User regular
    Another useful option is nutritional yeast. Sorta like funky powdered parm, pretty good if the taste works for you. Great on popcorn.

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  • GilgaronGilgaron Registered User regular
    I usually season chicken for salad with Liquid Smoke (no salt), Chipotle Tabasco (a little salt), and a blend of paprika, onion and garlic.

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  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    There are tons of seasoning mixes out there that are salt free. My personal favorite has always been Chili powder, but you can get curry powders, moles, Greek and Italian mixes, pretty much anything on the good old world wide web.

    My favorite spice shop is https://www.savoryspiceshop.com/

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  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    An alternative that I have found for getting bulk spices at good prices (heh, that ryhmed) is to check out immigrant/ethnic grocery stores. I've found that if you can find one that sells spices in bulk you can usually get a significantly better deal compared to buying prebagged stuff or your typical McCormick bottle. I used to cook with saffron from time to time and getting it at a Chinese grocery store was the only way I could buy it without losing my ass.

    One thing I like to do with chicken that will probably not be terribly useful to Drez but I'm gonna mention it anyway is buy cheap (or at least, they used to be cheap) fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts, and throw them in a crockpot. The recipe is scalable, so for each two decent sized breasts I would also add a can of black beans and a can of sweet corn (both undrained), plus enough red or green salsa on top to just sort of cover everything. After eight hours on low it turns into a nice southwest style chicken stew. I sometimes make a huge batch and fill a bunch of little tupperware containers and freeze them. If you leave it in the fridge instead, after the first day it tends to thicken up until it is an almost perfect consistency for dipping corn chips into. It's super easy if you are lazy, and you can even turn the laziness level up to 11 by getting everything ready the night before, putting it all in the pot, putting the pot in the fridge, and then putting it into the crockpot and turning it on right before you leave to go to work. By the time you get home your house will smell amazing and you'll have dinner ready to go.

    To redirect it back toward the thread's purpose I've made it for a friend who is on a reduced sodium diet before using low sodium beans and low sodium fresh salsa (instead of the highly salted generic jar stuff) and it comes out pretty good like that as well. You could also try adding a diced bell pepper or two to add a lot of bulk but hardly any calories and basically zero salt.

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    An alternative that I have found for getting bulk spices at good prices (heh, that ryhmed) is to check out immigrant/ethnic grocery stores. I've found that if you can find one that sells spices in bulk you can usually get a significantly better deal compared to buying prebagged stuff or your typical McCormick bottle. I used to cook with saffron from time to time and getting it at a Chinese grocery store was the only way I could buy it without losing my ass.

    I agree with this mostly, except for maybe the Saffron part. Because Saffron is more expensive than gold by weight, there is a lot of fraud in the Saffron market. I'm guessing buying cheap increases the likely hood of buying fake/adulterated saffron

  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    I agree with this mostly, except for maybe the Saffron part. Because Saffron is more expensive than gold by weight, there is a lot of fraud in the Saffron market. I'm guessing buying cheap increases the likely hood of buying fake/adulterated saffron

    There is a lot of fraud in the saffron industry (its like maple syrup/olive oil counterfeiting on steroids), and its why even if you need ground saffron you should buy it as threads and do the grinding yourself (although I never used grinds, I just made water with threads for everything).

    They key to getting good spices isn't to buy cheap spices, its to buy good spices that are priced cheap. Shopping somewhere that deals with an importer directly tends to get you a better price compared to your average grocery store where there are many more layers involved.

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    *googles saffron*

    oh my god how have none of the major GMO companies tried to create a plant that produces like 90 stigmas per plant?

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    I don't know a lot about the tech, but it seems like it'd just be the opposite of roses.

    Like, changing stigma/stamen into petals, like commercial roses, but just the reverse.

    Hox box, ya know?

  • Kayne Red RobeKayne Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    *googles saffron*

    oh my god how have none of the major GMO companies tried to create a plant that produces like 90 stigmas per plant?

    Because as soon as you did it would flood the market and you wouldn't be able to recoup the costs.

  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    As the song goes....rosemary and thyme.

  • ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    edited July 19
    Smoked paprika. It's one of the most sublime seasonings available, and quite inexpensive. Also, a slice of bread with peanut butter is incomplete until it's been sprinkled with this stuff, and some sesame seeds.

    To add to the advice on salt. After cooking, sprinkling a little finishing salt, like fleur de sel with its great big crystals that trap a little moisture, lets you taste and enjoy the salt without consuming a lot of actual sodium. The reason so many foods are heavily salted and yet it seems like all that flavor just disappears is that it's mixed in almost homogenously during or before cooking.

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  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    *googles saffron*

    oh my god how have none of the major GMO companies tried to create a plant that produces like 90 stigmas per plant?

    Because as soon as you did it would flood the market and you wouldn't be able to recoup the costs.

    I mean that's entirely possible but if they're the only ones that control the supply?

    I mean, De Beers still exists for a reason.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    *googles saffron*

    oh my god how have none of the major GMO companies tried to create a plant that produces like 90 stigmas per plant?

    Because as soon as you did it would flood the market and you wouldn't be able to recoup the costs.

    I mean that's entirely possible but if they're the only ones that control the supply?

    I mean, De Beers still exists for a reason.

    People will never stop drinking for good.

    And dats what De Beers are dere for.

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  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    Yeah you eliminate most salt by just staying away from processed foods where possible. And just sprinkle that chicken when it's roasted and you'll be surprised how little flakey salt is needed to pull up the flavor.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    On the other end of the spectrum, I made some Hamburger Helper (Double Cheese) the other day and WOW that was salty. 620mg for a "serving" of 1/4C. So like 2000mg for one meal.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    It’s not very hard to hit the maximum recommended daily intake of sodium. One teaspoon of salt contains 2350 mg of sodium. One TEAspoon. The kind of spoon you use in your tea. Which is crazy because honestly you shouldn’t be putting salt in your tea.

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  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    I dunno man, from all the things listed the salt is the least harmful by far. And a teaspoon of regular grain tablesalt is actually quite a lot. (it's way denser then flakes).

    If you stay away from fast food and preprocessed stuff, that will impact your daily intake much much more then trying to remove those last few grains of visible salt that actually does a lot for the flavor of your meal.

    (it's insane how much salt is packed into stuff even though you don't even taste it.)

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  • ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    edited July 24
    bwanie wrote: »
    If you stay away from fast food and preprocessed stuff, that will impact your daily intake much much more then trying to remove those last few grains of visible salt that actually does a lot for the flavor of your meal.

    (it's insane how much salt is packed into stuff even though you don't even taste it.)

    Agreed, but with some caveats:
    • Sit-down dining is not necessarily better, nutritionally, than fast food. It is often far worse. Though my personal favorite meal to leave to the professionals, due to the prep time involved, is bibimbap. Which is quite healthy.
    • The egg mcmuffin is one of the better popular quick breakfast options available. Just not the sausage version, nutritionally speaking.
    • Even making a sandwich or salad at home will require some restraint, to avoid surpassing the fat and sodium content of some of the smaller fast food burgers as the condor outsoars the sparrow.
    • I'd swap out the term Processed/preprocessed for "prepared." As in, by someone else who does not share your nutritional priorities, or who does not take them very much into account.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    I didn’t say the post you’re quoting,

    And I agree with your comments

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  • ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    I didn’t say the post you’re quoting,

    And I agree with your comments

    Whoops, sorry about that. Edit fail on my part, with an unposted reply still saved in there.

    Nothing personal. It's just business.
    Drez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    I didn’t say the post you’re quoting,

    And I agree with your comments

    Whoops, sorry about that. Edit fail on my part, with an unposted reply still saved in there.

    It’s all good

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