Tonight was a “I’ve gotta use up this chicken, so what am I going to do with it?” night. I also had the March issue of Clean Eating staring at me with a lovely photo of pastas on the front, including one with herbs, chicken, and peas. I didn’t want to go the pasta route since I was a little too carb-heavy yesterday so I’m trying to keep that in check today, but it looked sooooo good that I had to come up with an alternative. I was also itching to pick some of my newly potted basil. So I threw this together, sans pasta. I’ll admit it needs some tweaking, but I thought I’d go ahead and share anyway.
Before you get scared away with the “creamy” part, it’s honestly not too much higher in fat than you’d find in any dinner recipe in Cooking Light, so yes, the sauce is creamy, but still relatively low in fat and calories, and the dish makes up for it by being low in carbs and high in protein.
Creamy Herb Chicken with Peas & Artichokes
- 1 lb. Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 can Artichoke Hearts (about 12 piececs) – I use the brand Vigo (or fresh or frozen if you prefer)
- 1 cup Frozen Peas
- 1/4 cup Onion, diced
- 1/2 cup Half & Half
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, shaved or grated
- 1/2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tsp. Dried Dillweed
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 4-5 Basil Leaves, fresh
- 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
This is a one-pot deal, so bust out your large non-stick skillet. Spray the skillet with some non-stick cooking spray for good measure, and place on high heat. Toss in the cubed chicken, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder – I used about a teaspoon of salt and about 2 teaspoons of fresh ground pepper. When the chicken is almost cooked through (this only takes a few minutes), turn the heat down to medium. Add the olive oil. Add the onions, peas, and artichokes. Add the dill weed and oregano. When the vegetables are cooked through, add the half & half and Parmesan cheese, and stir to get the cheese melting. Allow the sauce to cook down until creamy and stir if needed to incorporate the cheese as it melts. (I didn’t need to, but if it is too thick, you can add a little chicken stock.) Chiffonade* the basil leaves and stir them into the dish, allowing only a minute or two longer on the heat.
You’ll get four generous servings out of this. As prepared: 293 calories, 11.2g fat, 10g carbs, and 37g protein.
Okay… so the things I’d tweak: First, I’d eliminate the artichokes. I just didn’t love them in this recipe. They were okay, but nothing to write home about. Maybe fresh or frozen would be better? Second, I was using a Parmesan that isn’t my usual brand, so it just didn’t have that wonderful nuttiness of Parmesan. Next time, I will definitely have a better quality Parmesan.
I topped mine with a teaspoon of crumbled feta because my Parmesan was lacking in flavor, but I thought the saltiness of the feta really added to the dish (and I do love a good stinky cheese), so I’ll probably do that next time too. I think this would be crazy-good served over whole-grain pasta, though it will need to be saucier. I served it with a simple side salad, and thought it was perfect with just that.
*Chiffonade: A French cooking term meaning “made of rags.” Roll your leaves together and (carefully!) cut across the roll in very thin strips. This is an easy technique that gives you those pretty, thin strips of herbs or leafy vegetables.