Friday, July 9, 2010

Baked Chicken Dijon with Swiss Cheese

Growing up, the rule in my house was that you ate everything that was put in front of you.  "I don't like this food," was not an excuse.  Except for one food.  Each of us was allowed to have one food which we said we would never eat.  For Julie, it was eggs.  For Trish, it was tomatoes.  For me, well, I begged for it to be chicken.  My mother said no.  Frankly, she couldn't afford for me to not eat chicken, since it was a staple of our menu and relatively cheap.  

For as long as I can remember, I've had a dicey relationship with chicken.  I am still not wild about chicken on the bone.  Especially dark meat.  Blech.  I like chicken breasts, but the sight of them raw is enough to send me running the other way.  There's something about raw chicken that grosses me out.  But I've resolved to overcome this!  So I bought a cookbook called The Big Book of Chicken. What better way to immerse myself in the world of chicken than with a gigantic cookbook dedicated to the ingredient?

The following recipe was the first on my journey to accept chicken as my culinary friend, and it was a resounding success.  My family raved about it.  And it was amazingly simple to create.  Much to my delight, I didn't have to touch the raw chicken too much.  Bonus!  The creamy sauce is flavorful but subtle, and the Swiss cheese on top is buttery, gooey, and delicious.  

The beauty of this recipe is that the sauce is 0 points, so the only thing that will cost you any points is the cheese.  You can adjust the amount of Swiss cheese to the points you want to spend.  If you're feeling decadent, use the entire 2 cups.  If you're feeling a bit more austere, limit the cheese.  It will still be a glorious dish.  

When I served this dish, I knew that the cheese topping was a bit decadent, so I made some sauteed peppers and onions, and steamed broccoli to go alongside it, instead of a starch.  I spooned a bit of the flavorful saucy-broth from the bottom of the baking dish on top of the veggies to serve it.  Don't waste it.  It's fantastic! 

Baked Chicken Dijon with Swiss Cheese 
Servings: 8
Points per serving: 7 pts (3 pts for sauce/cheese and 4 pts for a 4 oz chicken breast.  Allow for more points if using larger chicken breasts)

  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper 
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 oz each)
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss Cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, Dijon, garlic, thyme, minced onion, and salt and pepper.  
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a 13 x 9 pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Spread the sauce on top of the breasts.  It will look like you don't have enough sauce, but don't worry.  Just spread it evenly on top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through (about 30 minutes).  
  6. Sprinkle cheese on top of breasts and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  

 Recipe adapted from The Big Book of Chicken by Maryana Vollstedt. 

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