Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Mock Alfredo Sauce

          A few years ago I remember reading that the worst thing you could order in a restaurant was any dish with an Alfredo Sauce.  It was like a heart attack on a plate.  Such a shame, because it is so good.  It is definitely a dish I have stayed clear of because of all the fat.

          I wanted to share my version of a mock Alfredo Sauce.  It got 2 thumbs up from the family, and they are harsh critics.

         There is no cheese in it and no cream in it.  The only fat comes from 1 Tbl of butter.  Somehow it still tastes like a tangy Alfredo.

         I do serve it with Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts, so there is some fat in that.  You can always use the sauce tossed with some pasta vegetables as well.

       For the chicken, here are the ingredients.

  1. 2 lbs chicken breast with rib meat
  2. 4 Tbl flour
  3. 1/4 skim milk
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 tsp pepper
  7. 1/2 tsp oregano
  8. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  9. 1 Cup bread crumbs
  10. 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese
  11. olive oil for frying
Pre- heat your oven to 350F.

I make a one step batter as opposed to most people who make a 2 step batter for chicken.  It saves time and dishes.  It works, trust me.

First whisk your egg and milk in a bowl.  I used a small storage container.  Then add your flour and spices.  You should have a nice batter.

In another bowl pour in the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. I would recommend Panko or homemade bread crumbs.

Then slice your breasts so that you have strips.  I didn't use thin cutlets for this.  I sliced each breast in thirds.

Start heating up your frying pan on medium heat with your oil.  You should just need about 2 full turns of oil in the pan.  We are not deep frying. 

Now take your cutlets and dredge them in the batter, and then coat them with the bread crumb mixture.  Then place the chicken in your pre heated pan.

Turn them when the bottoms turn golden brown.  I used thicker pieces of chicken so I am not looking to cook them all the way in the pan.  They will finish cooking in the oven.  If they fry too long to cook all the way, the coating will burn and that will not taste good.

When both sides are golden brown, place them in a baking dish and put them in the oven for 15 minutes at 350F to finish cooking.  If you are using thin cutlets you probably won't need this step.

Boil water in a pot for your pasta.  I used spaghetti pasta.

While the spaghetti cooks, you can make the sauce.

The ingredients for the sauce are-
  1. 1 Tbl butter
  2. 1 Tbl flour
  3. 1/2 Cup skim milk
  4. 1/4 Cup low sodium, no fat chicken broth
  5. 1/3 Cup Plain Greek no fat yogurt
  6. 1/2 tsp chopped garlic (this is one clove)
  7. 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
In the same pan you cooked the chicken in, empty out any remaining oil.  You can always use a small sauce pan for the sauce, but I try and keep my dish washing to a minimum.

Melt your butter on medium heat.  Then add your flour and stir for a few minutes.  You do not want the flour to turn brown.

Then add your chopped garlic and stir for 1 minute.  Slowly add your milk.  The flour will soak up the milk and you will make a roux.

Once all the milk is added, you can slowly add the chicken broth.

You will need to temper your yogurt before putting it in the pan or it will curdle, and that will not be pretty.  To do this just add some of the sauce from the pan and mix it with the yogurt.  I did this in my measuring cup.  I added about 1/4 of the sauce to the yogurt.

Now you can pour the yogurt in the sauce, stir,  and lower the heat to low.

 Now simply add the salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.

To serve pour the sauce on the pasta and serve with the chicken.  You can always pour some sauce on the chicken if you desire.  Please note that the sauce will thicken on standing so serve it right away.  The heat from the pasta will keep it from thickening up right away.  My 21 month old actually preferred eating the sauce straight with a spoon.

Now get ready for the accolades!

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