My friend Natasha Norman put a request in for recipes that involve chicken but no grilling. Always excited to oblige requests, I flipped through my cookbook for something that fit the bill. Unfortunately...while I love my recipe for low-carb chicken parm, I'm really sick of it. Then, like magic, a recipe appeared in my Facebook newsfeed--Budget 101's Chicken Lombardy, which I have never had but sucked me in with its cheesy, mushroomy siren song.
So I got to work--although I did modify the original recipe in a few ways. I made it low(er)-fat, and it's already fairly low-carb (unless you pair it with something carb-y). The recipe below calls for 6 chicken breasts--that is A WHOLE LOT OF CHICKEN, and since I'm cooking for one (sad trombone) I downgraded to just two chicken breasts (sliced in half for four servings). I did not alter the sauce ingredients, because I have never made a wine sauce before and didn't want to see it bubble away to nothing.
In case you're a purist, I've included the original recipe ingredient list first, followed by the ingredients I used so you can compare. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, because you guys I just had dinner and I'm thinking about going back for more. THIS IS SOME OF THE BEST CHICKEN I'VE HAD IN MY LIFE I KIND OF CAN'T BELIEVE I MADE IT ALL BY MYSELF.
Low(er)-Fat/Low(er)-Carb Chicken Lombardy
- 6 chicken breasts, skinned/boned
- 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup marsala wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 2 green onions, chopped
Ingredients I Used:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 5 oz sliced crimini mushrooms (I really like mushrooms)
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp butter, not melted
- 1/4 cup unbleached flour
- 3/4 cup marsala wine
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 tsp salt (I'll explain in a sec)
- 2 low-fat mozzarella string cheeses
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- 2 green onions, chopped
Before we get started, I've got a few notes on ingredients:
Proportions: Play fast and loose with them. I used 1/3 the chicken, but almost all the cheese. Because I'm pretty obsessed with cheese. I also used a lot of mushrooms because I love mushrooms, and I used 2 chopped green onions even though I third-ed the chicken. This is the kind of recipe I don't think you can really fuck up.
Marsala wine: This is cooking wine--sometimes you find it in the sauces aisle, but I found this bottle with the port and other fortified wines in the wine aisle of Trader Joe's. They had two options--sweet and dry. I went with dry. Please don't drink it. I tried it. I won't be reviewing it.
Chicken broth: You'll use only part of whatever you buy, so buy something you'll want to use for other stuff. I bought low-sodium broth in case I want to make soup with the rest of it.
Salt: Speaking of low-sodium...don't know if it's a direct result, but I used about a teaspoon of salt in the sauce to make up for the low-sodium broth. However, (SPOILER ALERT) once it was all done, I still generously sprinkled each serving with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes because it just wasn't salty enough for me. To each his own, amirite?
Mozzarella: I bet this would be EVEN BETTER with full-fat cheese, but honestly I didn't feel like I was missing out. Subbing low-fat string cheese mozzarella for regular mozzarella in recipes is one of my favorite things. That way I have string cheese on hand for snacks and quick lunches, but I can also make awesome and healthier dinners. Win-win. Just take the string cheese stick and grate it on the largest holes on your grater.
Green onions: Most recipes, when calling for chopped green onions, are asking for only the green part. The closer you get to the white part, the stronger the onion flavor. Pro-tip: chop down to where it's starting to get pale/white-ish, then drop the white root part into a mason jar of water. Place it in some sunlight, and that sucker will grow and provide you with EVEN MORE GREEN ONIONS. Bonus!
OK, let's get cooking!!
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan and set aside. I used a little bit of butter--my mom suggests maybe using olive oil or cooking spray because apparently butter burns and may be why the edges of my sauce got so black in the finished product. The more you know...
2. Cook the mushrooms in 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes or just until tender. I went until they were fairly browned (5 minutes-ish). Remove from heat and set aside. FYI: the original recipe suggests a nonstick pan but I used a regular one because it can be hard to get things nicely browned in a nonstick pan.
3. I did my own thing with the chicken here, too. The original recipe instructs: "Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/8 inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin." I, however, was working with chicken I had already frozen, and I had flattened the breasts before sticking them in the freezer (to do this, put the breasts in a Ziplock freezer bag and beat them--with a meat tenderizer if you have it, with your hand if you don't--until it's uniformly about 1/4-inch thick). Once they were thawed, I cut them lengthwise in half, so I had four 1/8-inch-thick cuts of breast. Haha. Breast.
4. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour. I dumped a healthy 1/4 cup of flour on a dish, and used maybe 1/4 of that. You really don't use a lot of flour in this recipe. Just enough.
5. Cook chicken in the skillet in batches (I used the same skillet I used for the mushrooms, without washing it so I got that delicious mushroom-y/butter-y goodness in there). I melted an additional 1 tbsp. butter per whole breast (two half-breasts fit in the skillet at a time). Cook over medium heat, 3 minutes per side until golden.
6. Remove chicken from skillet and place in the lightly greased 13x9 pan.
7. Repeat with all the chicken, melting additional butter as necessary. SAVE THE PAN DRIPPINGS--THAT MEANS DO NOT STICK THIS SKILLET IN THE SINK OR SOMETHING, AND DO NOT DUMP OUT ANY GOOEY LIQUID THAT IS IN IT ONCE YOU'RE DONE COOKING THE CHICKEN.
8. Put all the chicken in the baking pan, layering the edges as necessary, then sprinkle the mushrooms evenly over the chicken.
9. Add the wine and broth to the same skillet you've been using. I didn't downsize the sauce ingredients, because I was worried there wouldn't be enough liquid in the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
10. Stir in the salt and pepper, then pour the sauce over the chicken and mushrooms.
11. Sprinkle the cheeses and the green onions over the chicken.
12. Pop in the oven and bake uncovered for 12-14 minutes (I took mine out at 12). This is where a Thermapen comes in SUPER handy--no guessing whether your chicken's done, just stick that sucker in and find out!
I actually ate this without any sides because I had a huge lunch, but if I were making this as a full-on dinner, I would add some brown rice and a vegetable. Maybe I'll do a veggie recipe tomorrow! I mean, I have leftovers...