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Cook It Light

Slimming Down a Fettuccine Dish

March 30, 1989|JEANNE JONES | Jones is a food consultant and a cookbook author.

DEAR JEANNE: This recipe appeared in a newspaper recently. It's yummy, and we love it, but a quart of heavy cream? Can you help, please?

--LIZ DOERING, Minneapolis, Minn.

TRADEWINDS CHICKEN FETTUCCINE

2 pounds fettuccine noodles

4 cups whipping cream

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons powdered chicken base

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 cups freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 ounce butter or margarine

Freshly chopped parsley

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool.

Reduce cream by 1/4 in saucepan over low heat. While reducing, add garlic, powdered chicken base and white pepper, stirring occasionally. When reduced, add cheese slowly while whipping with wire whisk until sauce has consistency of shake or malt.

Saute chicken meat in butter or margarine in large non-stick saute pan over high heat. Stir and break up pieces. When outside of chicken is cooked, add sauce, reduce heat to medium and add noodles. Stir 5 to 10 minutes or until hot, being careful not to scorch.

Garnish with parsley. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

DEAR LIZ: I agree, a quart of heavy cream is excessive--and the fat and cholesterol can be dangerous. There are some other problems with this recipe, however. When I made it I realized that it yields about 16 cups, which means that if you are feeding six people, each one would have to eat almost three cups.

I think a more realistic number of servings for this recipe would be 10 to 12. You will notice the difference this makes in the bottom-line figures when you compare the original recipe as figured for six servings and the revised figured for 12 servings.

Another change you might want to make is to cut the recipe in half unless you are planning to serve it for company. You might also find that you can make the recipe without the noodles, then serve it as a sauce over pasta and keep the unused portion of sauce in the freezer.

I substituted low-fat milk for the cream and eliminated the chicken base altogether since it contains sodium and MSG. I also reduced the amount of cheese called for, to help lower the calories and fat, as well as sodium. This revision will not taste as "fatty" as the original, but the garlic and cheese flavors will be more predominant.

JEANNE'S CHICKEN FETTUCCINE

2 pounds fettuccine noodles

2 1/2 tablespoons corn-oil margarine

1/2 cup unbleached flour

2 cups chicken stock

1 1/4 cups low-fat milk

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

6 ounces freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese

1 pound boned and skinned chicken breast halves, cubed

Chopped parsley

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool.

Melt margarine in saucepan. Add flour and stir over medium heat 1 minute. Do not brown. Add chicken stock, low-fat milk and garlic. Using wire whisk, stir over medium heat until mixture comes to boil.

Add salt and white pepper and continue to cook 1 minute more. Slowly add grated cheese to sauce, whipping with wire whisk until sauce has consistency of shake or malt.

Saute chicken meat in large non-stick skillet over high heat. Stir and break up pieces. When outside of chicken is cooked, drain water from skillet and add sauce. Reduce to medium heat and add noodles. Stir 5 to 10 minutes or until hot, being careful not to scorch.

Garnish with parsley. Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains approximately:

Original Recipe (6):

Calories: 1,250

Cholesterol: 300 mg

Fat: 76 gm

Sodium: 874 mg

Revised Recipe (12):

Calories: 368

Cholesterol: 33 mg

Fat: 8 gm

Sodium: 404 mg

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