Healthier Chicken Cutlets with Linguine and Alfredo Sauce

>> Thursday, March 31, 2011

Key word "healthier". This recipe still uses some ingredients that many will consider no-no's on a diet, but compared to the real deal, high cal, high fat version you might get at a restaurant, this one is bound to be better for you- just based on the fact that it is made at home, so you know what is going into it.

Ingredients:

1 cup homemade breadcrumbs (recipe to follow)
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP Neufchatel* cheese
1 TBSP unsalted butter
3 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups 1% or skim milk
2 TBSP AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup egg whites
4 thin chicken cutlets
1/2 cup whole grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes halved)
salt and pepper to taste
1 box whole wheat linguine or pasta of your choice

Directions for the Chicken Cutlets:

1. In 3 seperate dishes, place your whole wheat flour, egg whites and bread crumbs. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Add about half the lemon zest to the bread crumbs as well as 1/4 of a cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1 TBSP of the parsley.
2. Heat some olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) over medium heat and then dredge the cutlets through the flour, wash in the egg whites and then bread each side. Cook in the pan for about 3-4 minutes per side. (These are fast cooking because they're so thin).
3. Transfer to a plate and put them into a warm oven while you finish making the pasta and sauce.
Directions for the Alfredo Sauce:

This goes really fast, so sorry there are no "in process" photos.

1. In a medium sauce pan melt your butter then add the garlic and remainder of the lemon zest. Cook over medium heat for about 1 minute- until garlic just begins to brown.

2. Add the AP flour and stir until it is all combined and golden brown in color.

3. Whisk in the milk and stir continuously until it thickens- about two minutes.

4. Melt in the Neufchatel and remaining Parmesan cheeses, stirring until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Follow package directions for cooking your pasta, drain and reserve about 1/4 cup of the starchy liquid.

Combine the pasta, alfredo sauce, grape tomatoes and remaining parsley in a large bowl. If the sauce starts to bind up as it cools, stir in the cooking liquid from the pasta and it will thin it back out again.
Remove your chicken cutlets from the oven and serve immediately.
*Neufchatel cheese is virtually identical to cream cheese in appearance and flavor. In fact, it is shelved right next to the cream cheese at the store and the packaging even looks the same. The difference is it's lower in fat and calories, making it a better alternative.

Homemade Bread Crumbs: This is really simple to do, I haven't purchased breadcrumbs at the store for more than a year, now that I figured this little gem out!

1. Save all the heel ends of your loaves of bread (I also save the crusts because I have one finicky child who wont eat it!) We use Fiber One brand bread, so I know that right there- my bread crumbs will have more fiber in them than normal store bought crumbs! Store your bread in a zip top bag in the freezer.

2. When you're ready to make your meal, simply pull out the desired amount of bread and pop it into either a mini chopper or blender.

3. To season, I use 1-2 TBSP of dried Italian seasoning, tossed right into the chopper with the bread. Pulse to a fine consistency.

3 comments:

jenn April 2, 2011 at 8:43 PM  

That sounds yummy, and I love the bread crumb recipe. I am going to have to try that.

Catherine April 4, 2011 at 6:34 PM  

This sounds and looks delicious!
Blessings, Catherine

Tara Beaulieu April 4, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

Thanks, ladies. I am struggling to find healthier alternatives that satisfy my salt/cheese habit, so it's always good when I can figure out something decent to make!

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