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help morphing a high fat recipie into a lower fat version...

Chicken Castellina- what I had at Olive Garden last Monday- or as close as it could get for a recipie. How would I make this lower calorie or is it a sin to make it so?
The main things I liked about the recipie were the artichokes, the chicken and the creamyness... the bacon and mushrooms were a bonus. I really was looking on the menu for a pesto based sauce dish... the waiter suggested this one.
recipie found on.....
2 oz. Pancetta (or bacon), diced
3 oz. Butter, cubed
1 tsp. Garlic, chopped
2 oz. Sun-dried tomatoes, diced
12 oz. Heavy cream
12 oz. Milk
1 oz. Cornstarch
2 oz. Grated Parmesan
3 oz. Smoked Gouda, chopped
3 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
8 1/2 oz. Can sliced artichokes, drained
1 Tbsp. Fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

1 1/2 lbs. Skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1 to 1-1/2-inch pieces
6 oz. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 1/2 oz. Olive oil
2 oz. White wine
1 1/2 lbs. Cooked pasta
Fresh parsley, chopped

Sauce Preparation

In a 3-qt sauce pan or large pot, sauté pancetta (or bacon) over medium/high heat until crisp and golden (not dark).

Lower heat, add butter and melt.

Add garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.

Sauté for approximately one minute stirring frequently (do not brown).

Whisk in cream, milk and cornstarch. Raise heat to medium/high.

Whisk in Parmesan and Gouda.

Once cheese melts, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil stirring continuously.

Remove from heat and let stand uncovered.

Chicken Preparation

Mix flour with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in seasoned flour, shake off excess flour.

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan.

Add chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on both sides (it should take approximately seven minutes). Using a meat thermometer, make sure the internal temperature of the thickest piece of chicken reaches 165° F.
Begin pasta in a separate pot according to package directions.

Add wine to chicken in pan (caution: there will be a low flame in pan). Toss gently until wine is evaporated.

Once reduced, add sauce and bring to a boil on medium/high heat

Place 6 oz of cooked pasta on each plate.

Evenly distribute chicken and sauce over pasta.

Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 4.


Fri. Mar 10, 3:39pm

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any easy one is to use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon. I actually like it better, and it has way less fat.

Friday, March 10, 2006, 3:58 PM

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Turkey Bacon vs. regular

The caloric difference isn't that much, really.

I would keep the bacon
use only 1T butter
substitute ff milk or ff condensed milk for the heavy cream
substitute ff milk for the regular milk
grated parmesan isn't that many calories
buy a strong-flavored high quality gouda and use less
add more mushrooms and artichokes for extra fiber
cut back on the olive oil

Friday, March 10, 2006, 4:36 PM

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thank you- sounds good... I will have to print this out and hand it over to my "chef" husband to make for me...

Friday, March 10, 2006, 5:01 PM

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How about substituting olive oil vs. Butter?
or just using 1 oz. butter, and the rest in olive oil for your sauce?
Perhaps you could substitute a bit of home-made, flavorful chicken broth instead of all of the butter? Although I realize that you need the butter and corn-starch to help bind the cheeses, it might help to reduce the calories that way.

Instead of cream & milk, try using Fage Total 0% FF yogurt and powdered skim milk (don't use as much water as recommended for the powdered skim, and it will be thicker in consistency-- you don't really know it's powdered when you are using it with other flavorful ingredients)

The Yogurt willl add creaminess without the extra fat calories and will help with the cheeses as well--Fage is great for cooking--plus you could maybe even reduce some of the corn starch that way--although it is being used to bind the cheeses together...

Also, you could probably increase the amount of sun-dried tomatoes and the spices and use slightly less cheese--or perhaps substitute some skim mozzarella or some other mild flavored skim milk cheese for some of the gouda--don't use a lot, but enough that it could reduce the fat content, without sacrificing the flavor of the gouda?

Maybe you could dredge the chicken breasts in a litle skim milk and then the flour mixture and bake it in an non-stick pan instead of suateeing it? The other thing is that if you have something like a George Foreman Grill, you could forgoe the olive oil (maybe just a couple of drops and rub it into the chicken breasts) as well as the flour... Just grill the chicken instead of dredginig in flour and sauteeing. Instead of cooking it in the white wine, you could also marinate the chicken in the white wine before-hand--it will infuse the meat (and tenderize it) with the wine flavor.

Maybe Proscuitto would be a slightly less fatty substitute for the Pancetta or bacon? I believe that Proscuitto is very lean in comparison, and also give that bacon-like flavor-- a little goes a LONG way... Or Perhaps you can just lessen the amount a little-- since both pancetta and proscuitto are pretty strong in flavor?

Also, instead of using regular pasta, think about using whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta-- to add more fiber and protein to the recipe.

Hope this helps.
I love trying new things and I am one who rarely follows a recipe-- i prefer to think of it as a "guideline" vs. an absolute....


Sunday, March 12, 2006, 3:38 PM

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Rev up your recipes with more fresh herbs, fresh ground pepper, some chopped sauted or grilled onion, maybe some fresh basil chopped and added during cooking, and more fresh chopped parmesan. Also, some roasted chopped red pepper will add flavor, and use low fat or fat free chicken broth instead of the milk. Cook the chicken breasts with some vegetable spray and use the dryest wine you can find for your recipe (less sugar). Try using canned condensed milk unstead of the cream. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006, 5:33 AM

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Did I say fresh chopped parmesan? I mean more fresh chopped parsley.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006, 4:37 AM

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