Hold the mayo: '90s chicken salads Chicken lite: High-fat salads can be redesigned so they are nutritionally more sound.

October 01, 1995|By Betsy Jamieson | Betsy Jamieson,EATING WELL United Feature Syndicate

A salad of chicken and pasta moistened with a curry mayonnaise and sweetened with mango chutney is a keeper. Rather than just replacing the mayonnaise, which contributes most of the 32 grams of fat, we prefer a mixture of low-fat mayonnaise and yogurt.

Curried chicken and pasta salad

Serves 6

3/4 pound large pasta shells

2 tablespoons slivered almonds ( 1/2 ounce)

1 tablespoon curry powder, preferably Madras

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream

1/3 cup mango chutney

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch ground red pepper (cayenne), or to taste

2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped scallions (4 scallions)

1/2 cup diced celery

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.

In a small dry skillet, toast almonds over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Return the skillet to the stove top and add curry powder. Toast, stirring constantly, over low heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in mayonnaise, yogurt, chutney, turmeric, cinnamon and ground red pepper.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, raisins, scallions, celery and the reserved pasta. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, black pepper and ground red pepper. Garnish with the almonds.

455 calories per serving; 27 grams protein; 7 grams fat; 70 grams carbohydrate; 559 milligrams sodium; 49 milligrams cholesterol

*

The classic Italian dish vitello tonnato consists of poached chicken breasts in a sauce of pureed oil-packed tuna and anchovies mixed with mayonnaise and olive oil. Replacing the mayonnaise with low-fat mayonnaise and nonfat yogurt, and using water-packed tuna, made a pale imitation in terms of taste and texture. The answer for recovering the rich quality of the sauce turned out to be the addition of roasted garlic and a small quantity of olive oil.

Cold sliced chicken in tuna sauce

Serves 8

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat (1 1/2 pounds)

1 14-ounce can defatted reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 6-ounce can solid white tuna packed in water, drained

4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

1 plump head garlic, roasted

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons capers, rinsed, plus additional for garnish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

thin lemon slices for garnish

fresh parsley for garnish

Place chicken breasts in a large skillet or saucepan. Pour chicken broth over the chicken; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately turn the chicken breasts over, cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let steep for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Cover and refrigerate, letting the chicken cool in the broth.

Place tuna and anchovies in a food processor and process until very smooth. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skins into the processor. Add mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, capers, olive oil and mustard. Blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal into 1/4 -inch-thick slices. Spread 1/3 of the tuna sauce on a serving platter. Arrange the chicken on the sauce, then cover with the remaining sauce. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator a few minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon slices, capers and parsley.

190 calories per serving; 24 grams protein; 8 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrate; 286 milligrams sodium; 57 milligrams cholesterol

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