Cut the fat with some of this, less of that

April 24, 1996|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,KNIGHT-RIDDER TRIBUNE

A fat-warning flag should go up in your mind whenever you see a chicken recipe that calls for 4 tablespoons of butter. But if that recipe also calls for a cup of sour cream and 2 ounces of cheese, a siren should sound, too. Just by reading the ingredients, you can tell the recipe is a fat overload.

The original recipe for Carpenter's Tavern Roquefort chicken, made with butter, sour cream and Roquefort or blue cheese, contained a whopping 626 calories and 38.8 grams of fat per serving.

The revised recipe, which omits the butter and substitutes nonfat plain yogurt for some of the sour cream, has 335 calories and 9.4 grams of fat per serving. Several simple adjustments reduce the fat.

First, remove the skin from the chicken or buy chicken breasts without the skin. Chicken skin contains 103 calories an ounce and is almost pure fat.

Second, omit butter, margarine or oil whenever possible. In recipes where the chicken is baked, not pan-fried, use nonstick cooking spray to keep the meat from sticking to the pan.

Third, substitute low-fat or fat-free dairy products and reduce the quantity when possible. In this recipe, nonfat plain yogurt is an excellent stand-in for some of the sour cream. It gives the chicken a pleasantly tangy flavor and forms a light crust when it bakes.

Carpenter's Tavern Roquefort chicken

Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons A-1 sauce or other steak sauce

4 tablespoons melted butter

4 whole chicken breasts, cut in half or 4 pieces fryer chicken

1 cup sour cream

2 ounces Roquefort or blue cheese, crumbled

Combine the steak sauce and the melted butter in a baking dish. Wipe both sides of the chicken in the sauce and place in the pan, skin side up. Stir the sour cream and spoon it on top of the chicken. Crumble the Roquefort or blue cheese on top.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until chicken is done.

Nutritional information per serving: calories, 626; protein, 63 grams; carbohydrate, 3 grams; fat, 38.8 grams (57 percent of calories from fat); cholesterol, 229.8 milligrams; sodium, 520.5 milligrams.

Light Roquefort chicken

Makes 4 servings

nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 tablespoons A-1 sauce or other steak sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

1/4 cup light sour cream or sour half-and-half

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Roquefort or blue cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat the sides and bottom of a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the steak sauce on a plate or other shallow dish, and wipe both sides of the chicken with it. Stir the yogurt into the light sour cream and dredge the chicken in this mixture as well. Fold the narrow pointed end of each chicken breast under the thick ends to form squarish pieces. (This helps the chicken cook more evenly.)

Place in the baking pan, topping with any leftover yogurt-sour cream mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Note: The chicken can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead of baking.

Cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Nutritional information per serving: calories, 335; protein, 55.8 grams; carbohydrate, 2.8 grams; fat, 9.4 grams (26 percent of calories from fat); cholesterol, 156 milligrams; sodium, 310.9 milligrams.

Pub Date: 4/24/96

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