ITALIAN CHICKEN SCAMPI RECIPE

Scampi” is one of those words that makes my mouth water just hearing it. Growing up, my family lived near a seafood restaurant that was a favorite of all of ours, and I often ordered shrimp scampi, even as a kid. It has such a flavor-packed, garlic buttery taste that you can’t easily forget! You could easily use shrimp in this recipe, but shrimp can be expensive, and sometimes hard to find, depending on where you live. Instead, this recipe calls for chicken, and who doesn’t love a good chicken recipe?

I’m going to start by sharing with you a tip that I’ve discovered from cooking lots of chicken over the years.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are pretty typical, and that’s what’s listed in this recipe.  They can be purchased in large quantities and don’t cost much per serving.  But have you ever tried using chicken tenderloins?  They’re so much more tender, and easier to chop or shred once they’ve been cooked.  (There’s only one drawback to using tenderloins—working around that tough tendon that runs down the middle.

This skinny chicken recipe is sure to become a quick favorite in your household.  Being light on calories and fat doesn’t make it light on flavor, especially with that rich lemon wine sauce.  Give it a try, it’s sure to please!

Ingredients:

6 ounces dry whole grain spaghetti or angel hair pasta

1 pound chicken, cut into small pieces

2 T lemon juice, divided

A little salt and pepper

⅓ c reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light

¼ t salt

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 T fresh garlic, minced

¾ c white wine (see tip)

¼ c reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tsp all purpose flour

Chives for garnish, optional

Directions:

1 – Prepare the pasta to al dente, according to package directions.

2 – Sprinkle chicken with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.  Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat.

3 – Add chicken pieces, and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until done.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

4 – Wipe pan with a paper towel, and coat with additional cooking spray.  Melt butter in the pan, and add salt, pepper, and garlic.  Cook for one minute, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the wine, chicken broth, and remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Cook over medium-high heat until it starts to boil.  Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is reduced to about ¾ cup.

5 – Add flour to the sauce and whisk until combined.  Sauté over medium heat for 1 minute.  Mix in cooked chicken and sauté until heated through.

6 – For each serving, divide ¾ cup pasta on each plate.  Spoon about 1 cup of Chicken Scampi with sauce on top of pasta.  Garnish with chopped chives, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

This recipe has 380 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 10 SmartPoints per serving.  Olive oil can be used in place of the cooking spray, but it’ll add a little to the calorie and fat content.

Cook’s Tip:  If you don’t have white wine on hand, you can replace the amount called for in this recipe with additional reduced-sodium chicken broth.

To round out this meal, you could pair it with a bright, leafy green salad, or some sautéed asparagus.  It makes a flavorful light meal perfect for a weeknight treat or a special date night!

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