Let fat, calories melt away

April 02, 1997|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

If you want to cut fat and empty calories, start by flagging most of the recipes in your collection that call for melted butter.

You can greatly reduce the amount of butter -- or eliminate it altogether -- in most savory dishes without damaging the flavor. Jan Arney of Boulder, Colo., sent in a recipe for Parmesan chicken and asked for help in reducing the fat and calories. We shaved off 264 calories and 26 grams of fat by omitting the butter and making a few other changes.

The new recipe also halved the amount of salt. And, in place of melted butter, the new recipe gets its richness from a light drizzling of olive oil, which is significantly lower in saturated fat than butter and contains no cholesterol.

Light Parmesan chicken forms a delicious, golden-brown crunchy coating as the chicken bakes. The chicken inside is moist and tender. Best of all, the streamlined recipe gets just 21 percent of its calories from fat.

Original Parmesan chicken

Makes 12 servings

1 cup all-purpose baking mix

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon salt

dash of pepper

1/2 cup evaporated milk

12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup melted butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the baking mix, cheese and seasonings in a shallow bowl or plate. Place the evaporated milk in another bowl. Dip the chicken breasts in the evaporated milk, then roll thoroughly in the baking mix. Place in a large baking dish. Pour the melted butter over the chicken. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.

Per serving: 565 calories, 33 g fat (53 percent of calories from fat), 61 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 213 mg cholesterol, 496 mg sodium

Light Parmesan chicken

Makes 12 servings

corn-oil cooking spray

12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup reduced-fat, all-purpose baking mix

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon salt

fresh black pepper to taste

1 cup evaporated skim milk

1 teaspoon olive oil

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a large baking dish with cooking spray. Trim all visible fat from the chicken breasts.

Combine the baking mix, cheese and seasonings in a shallow bowl or plate. Place the milk in another bowl. Dip chicken in milk, then roll thoroughly in the baking mix. Fold the thin, pointed ends of the chicken under the thick ends to ensure even cooking and place in prepared pan.

Drizzle any remaining milk, or about 4 tablespoons, over chicken. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is firm to the touch but still juicy.

Per serving: 301 calories, 7 g fat (21 percent of calories from fat), 47 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 123 mg cholesterol, 327 mg sodium

Pub Date: 4/02/97

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