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Dinner Tonight! | The Lighter Side

Chicken Goes Med

May 24, 2000|DONNA DEANE

This quick, warm-weather chicken dish is light-tasting, but makes a substantial meal with rice or pasta. Put the rice on to cook before starting the chicken so it will be ready when the chicken is done.

I like the flavor and crunch the dish gets from breaking up frico (rounds of browned Parmesan cheese) over it just before serving. You can make the frico ahead and leave it on paper towels until serving time.

I prefer to remove the skin from the chicken breasts before cooking so they have that beautiful browned look and the meat absorbs the flavor of the sauce.

Serve lemon wedges with the chicken if you prefer a stronger lemon accent.

*

Deane's book "Low Fat Kitchen" includes more than 100 recipes created for this column. To order, call (800) 246-4042. The price is $20.45 including shipping and sales tax.

Mediterranean Chicken and Capers

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Serve the chicken with rice or linguine.

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

4 boneless chicken breasts

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1 tablespoon capers, drained

6 Kalamata olives, quartered

1 cup nonfat chicken broth

1 teaspoon flour

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon minced tarragon

* Spoon cheese, a generous tablespoon at a time, into nonstick skillet. You should be able to fit 3 or 4 tablespoons into skillet. Spread cheese into thin rounds. Heat over medium heat until cheese melts and lightly browns on bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn and brown other side. Remove to paper towel to cool.

* Pound chicken breasts to flatten slightly. Remove skin and season with salt and pepper. Spray or lightly brush a nonstick skillet with olive oil. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and saute until browned, about 5 minutes, then turn and brown second side. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

* Add garlic and artichoke hearts to skillet, and saute 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in capers and olives and saute 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in broth and heat to simmer. Blend together flour and water until smooth, and stir into simmering sauce. Heat and stir until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and tarragon. Add chicken breasts to sauce, spooning sauce over top of chicken. Simmer a few minutes for flavors to blend.

* To serve, slice chicken breast on the diagonal. Arrange on plate and spoon sauce over chicken. Break frico over top of chicken.

4 servings. Each serving: 323 calories; 762 mg sodium; 112 mg cholesterol; 11 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 49 grams protein; 0.69 gram fiber.

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