Chinese New Year celebrations always include a whole chicken. The chicken represents the phoenix, the legendary bird that rises from its own ashes. The chicken symbolizes rebirth and reaffirmation, making it popular for any kind of Chinese celebration.
There are countless ways to cook chicken in Chinese kitchens: whole, diced, steamed, baked, stir-fried, hacked and boiled. In The Chinese Chicken Cookbook (Simon and Schuster; $24) Eileen Yin-Fei Lo offers more than 100 recipes, traditional and modern. For such a seemingly specific cookbook, this one has a wide range of information, many styles of dishes, and is a good introduction to Chinese cooking techniques. You'll learn, for instance, how to do a good stir-fry and make dumplings and make a good Chinese chicken stock.
New low-carb (or controlled-carb or high-protein) products and dishes are being introduced faster than you keep track of them. Here's the latest:
Low-Carb Thickburger from Hardee's. It's a 1/3-pound seasoned Angus beef patty, charbroiled and wrapped in lettuce. Just lettuce, no bun, but you can pick it up by the lettuce, so it still qualifies as a burger, I guess.
It does come in a paper "half wrap" and in a cardboard carton, to make it a little less messy. They've changed pickles from sweet to dill and used less ketchup. It's 5 grams of carbohydrates, and $2.89.
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