Doing it Light & Right, my way
This post goes out to my calorie counting cooking friend, Mother Rimmy, whose blog, Cooking Light Done Right not only provides tasty eats but is packed with more nutritional information than you can shake a stick at.
The thing about Mother Rim is she knows about eating healthy stuff. I’m not talking about hard core granola teeth cracking bars, tofu taste-like meat hamburger patties or sweet cakes made from strange sounding plants from God know where, I’m taking ‘bout real food that is cooked using healthier decisions. I’ve learned many ah good things from her. A few I have even put into practice, some anyway….
All of her recipes are given to us straightforward using good ol’ plain ingredients that are found in any grocery store. Easy enough. Her instructions are right on too. And at the end of each recipe comes the money. This is where she tells us what’s good about the dish. Not like I would imply, I mean, I could squander a paragraph telling you how good it taste, as in slap-your-mama-goodness and all that silly stuff, but Mother Rim tells us the nutritional breakdown of vitamins, proteins, good carbs, bad carbs, fats, acids, sodium, fibers, (yawn) and why we need to eat these things and how they react to our bodies, why they are good for our complexion and our hair and skin and which ones helps fight cancer, makes our teeth look good when we grin and our eyes sparkle when we laugh, why the mushrooms below contribute to our antioxidant system and the chicken gives us energy, whose gonna win the next Republican senate seat and …
So Mother Rimmy, today I give to you a recipe that I made to the best of my ability. I gave this one a lot of thought (you believe me, right) and reduced as many calories as I possibly could, I mean, I would normally dust the chicken in flour before pan frying. Doesn’t that count for something? And to go along with this lean, light dish, you will be happy to know I steamed up a pan of fresh green beans seasoned only with garlic cloves and a dash of sea salt and I served the chicken over a bed of brown rice.
I hope you and everyone agree that I can cook lighter. Hope you try it and if you do… Enjoy!
Creole Chicken Done Right
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (free range, clean living & righteous raised)
extra light olive oil (Mother Rim only allows olive oil)
Creole Seasoning Mix -recipe follows
4 slices lean bacon, chopped (only use the light bacon renderings)
8 ounces crimini, porcini or button mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1/4 cup sherry
1 cup chicken stock (homemade of course)
2 tablespoons butter (oops, must be from another recipe)
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon capers
chopped flat-leaf parsley if desired
Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to about 1/4-inch thick. Beat the mother out of the chicken with a mallet (or heavy cast iron skillet) wafer thin. Pat the pieces dry with a paper towel and tickle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with the Creole Spice Mix on both sides to get some color on it.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil, just enough to say you did so. Slip the cutlets into the pan and lightly cook for a minute or two, turning once – do this in batches, no need in crowding the coop. Cooking this way will seal the spice to the chicken. Remove the chicken to a platter keeping warm by inverting a plate over it or covering it in foil.
Add the bacon to the pan, sauté to render out the fat. Now Mother Rimmy would probably skip this step, or drain the bacon grease or more than likely use another pan to sauté the mushrooms in olive oil. (When you do drain the bacon grease, notice the different parts of the fats. Don’t use the darker renderings, although this is where the better flavoring bits are; only use the healthier lighter color grease. Mother Rim says always cook light!) Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned and the moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Pour the sherry in the pan and simmer for a minute. Add the chicken stock and simmer for a few minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Stir in the butter (from the other recipe) and return the chicken to the pan. Top with the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with the capers. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes to heat the chicken and to melt the tomatoes with the sauce. Add more seasonings if needed and garnish with chopped parsley before serving if desired.
Serve with brown rice and a side vegetable.
Creole Seasoning Mix
I find this to be so useful and a great addition to so many foods. Many times I make a batch without salt and adjust the recipe of the dish I am preparing.
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt -optional
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine and store in a sealed container.