Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lemon Chicken with Mushrooms

Photo courtesy of Light & Tasty.

As a flavor, lemon has been on my mind a lot lately. Naturally, it took center stage in January's Daring Baker challenge, but I think there's more to it than that.

When I was in London, though the calendar said "January," the air felt like early spring. The days were sunny and bright, the temperatures ranged between 45 and 50 degrees, and flowers (yes, FLOWERS) were blooming.

When I returned home, there was snow on the ground, it was well below freezing, and the light had that sad, greyish cast typical of winter.

Still, the knowledge that spring is coming (eventually) is there, and the flavor of lemon -- bright and sunny -- is akin to those longer, warmer days ahead.

This recipe is adapted from one in the current issue of Taste of Home's Light & Tasty magazine, which is fitting, as this is a light and tasty meal. I added more lemon juice (about 1/4 cup total) to brighten the flavor and additional chicken stock (2/3 cup total), as it took longer than expected for my thickly cut mushrooms to cook. If you like, you could leave the mushrooms out altogether, make extra sauce, and serve the chicken and lemony sauce over a bed of rice. If you'd like more mushrooms, double the amount making sure to increase the chicken broth and lemon juice as well.

Additionally, it's a healthy recipe, featuring healthy fats (only 9 grams per serving), lean meat, and veggies. Since I began watching what I eat and exercising about a year ago, I've lost over 25 pounds, knocked 4 points off my BMI, and built up my muscle mass and overall endurance -- it's something I'd like to continue in 2008!

Lemon Chicken with Mushrooms (adapted)

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup lemon juice

Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in butter until golden brown and juices run clear, flipping once. Remove and keep warm.

Add 2/3 cup broth to the pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Add mushrooms; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Combine the remaining flour and broth until smooth; stir into the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with chicken.

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