Growing up we always got to choose the dinner menu for our birthday. My Dad’s favorite birthday dinner was Herbed Chicken, served over white rice with a side of creamed spinach. While we didn’t count calories much then, I looked it all up and found this meal was 1215 calories – the chicken with sauce was 715 calories on its own and we hadn’t added in bread/butter and the birthday cake! Now I am eating around 1200 calories in a day, so I changed-out the chicken as this was the biggest offender in terms of fat and calories – made it lighter but still tasty! The cream of chicken soup had to go, as did the sour cream, and the heavy cream that were all used to create the gravy. I substituted Greek Yogurt instead so the gravy still stayed creamy. I still serve cream of spinach with the chicken, but eliminated the white rice totally from this menu. This chicken dish is still delicious but now it’s also much healthier.
Original Herb Chicken is 715 calories per person. My 2014 version is 375 calories and much more healthy for you – what’s not to like?
4 chicken hindquarters (leg and thigh)
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (white or button)
1 cup Greek yogurt – plain
2 Tbls dry sherry
2 tsp. dried Thyme
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbl unsalted butter
Kosher salt – 1/4 tsp
Pam Olive Oil spray
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Using a non-stick fry pan, add light layer of Pam spray plus the tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Wipe the chicken to ensure it is dry, so it will brown better. Lightly sprinkle garlic and onion powder over the tops of the chicken and then add skin side down to pan. Do not crowd – if all four don’t fit, fry them in separate batches. Once they are lightly browned, turn and brown on the other side.
2. Remove from fry pan and add to rectangular baking dish. Add the dry sherry to deglaze the pan and scrape up all the browned bits. Add the chicken stock and bring to boil. Once it has reached a boil, immediately turn down heat to medium and add water chestnuts and mushrooms, thyme. Remove from heat and gently stir in the yogurt – you don’t want this to curdle or separate, so pan should have cooled down a bit before adding.
3. Set aside 1/4 of the sauce, and pour the rest over the chicken and cook for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Check the chicken to see if it has reached an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Heat up the remaining sauce over medium heat and spoon over the plated chicken. Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley on top and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Chicken Nutrition: 375 Calories; 7 Carbs