Breast Of Chicken In A Light Lemon-Herb Sauce

Believe it or not, my boyfriend and I have been trying to eat a little better these days. We're going to Aruba in three weeks, so we've been going to the gym and playing a lot of Wii Fit, and we haven't been in the mood for anything super heavy when dinnertime rolls around (this has nothing to do with the cookies we consume after dinner).

We've been eating a lot of salad -- specifically chicken Caesar -- and have been trying to add healthier meals into our diets. Salad can get pretty boring pretty fast, so I did some scouting around and found this recipe for chicken in a light lemon-herb sauce on Cookstr.com. The word "light" made me think it would be good for us, and I'm sure it has less calories than our usual meals.

Breast of Chicken in a Light Lemon-Herb Sauce (by Lidia Bastianich via Cookstr.com)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 5 ounces each)
½ cup fine, dry bread crumbs
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1½ teaspoons dried oregano, preferably the Sicilian or Greek type dried on the branch, crumbled
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup Chicken Stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled

Cut each chicken-breast half in half crosswise on a diagonal, to yield two pieces of roughly equal size. Place two pieces at a time between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound gently with the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small, heavy saucepan to flatten them slightly, to about ½ inch thick.

Toss the bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, 1/ 2 teaspoon of the oregano, and salt to taste together in a bowl until blended. Spread 1 teaspoon of bread-crumb mixture over each piece of chicken, reserving the remaining crumbs. Roll each chicken piece into a compact shape with the bread crumbs running in a spiral through the center and fasten securely with a toothpick.

raw chicken with stuffing
rolling chicken
Preheat the oven to 475° F.

Arrange the filled chicken breasts side by side in a 13× 9-inch, preferably flameproof baking dish. (There should be some space between the pieces of chicken.) Stir the wine, stock, lemon juice, hot pepper, the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the remaining teaspoon of oregano, and salt to taste together in a small bowl. Pour into the baking dish. Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and scatter them among the chicken pieces. Bake 10 minutes.

Top the chicken with the remaining bread-crumb mixture. Return to the oven and bake until the bread-crumb topping is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

If the roasting pan is flameproof, place it directly over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and bring the pan juices to a boil. Boil until lightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. (If the roasting pan is not flameproof, transfer the chicken rolls to a warm platter and pour the juices into a skillet before bringing them to a boil.) Remove the garlic cloves, or leave them in if you like. Gently transfer the chicken pieces to plates with a slotted spoon. Pull the toothpicks from the chicken without loosening the bread-crumb topping.

Pour the sauce around, not over, the chicken pieces, and serve immediately.

The one change I would make is to either eliminate the hot pepper or use less of it. We thought the sauce was a bit too hot, and when we ate the leftovers the next night, the heat was even more intense.

Other than that, this recipe was delicious. The chicken was super moist, and topping it with bread crumbs added a little crunch but kept it from being as heavy as fully breaded chicken cutlets.