Friday, June 17, 2011

Cooking Light with Rachael Ray: Coconut Chicken Cutlets

The hubby and I would love to eat shrimp...but we can't. His throat closes up and I get violently ill. What a pair, right? Yeah, not good. But every time I see coconut fried shrimp I want some! It just looks soooo good! And the smell off those things. Seriously, it isn't fair. So when I saw Rachael Ray's recipe for Coconut Chicken Cutlets, I had found what I was looking for! This recipe was going to allow me to enjoy the flavors I was craving from coconut shrimp. I know it isn't shrimp. And it isn't fried. But it is as close as I can get while staying healthy and keepin' my hubby alive. Here is my take on Rachael's Coconut Chicken Cutlets.

COCONUT CHICKEN CUTLETS
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets, slightly pounded
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup WHOLE WHEAT flour
  • 1/2 cup EGG BEATERS
  • 1 cup SPECIAL K cereal, crushed
  • 1 cup grated UNSWEETENED coconut
  • 3/4 cup SUGAR FREE Apricot preserves
  • 1 jalapeno; seeded and sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons FAT FREE/LOW-SODIUM chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 2 scallions; whites and greens sliced
  • FAT FREE olive oil cooking spray
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425˚F. 

Arrange 3 shallow dishes( I like to use glass pie pans): Place about a cup of WHOLE WHEAT flour on first plate to dredge the chicken. Add EGG BEATERS with a splash of water in second dish. Combine the crushed SPECIAL K cereal and coconut in the third dish.


Season chicken with salt and pepper, then coat them in flour, then EGG BEATERS, then SPECIAL K-coconut mixture. Place on a prepared baking sheet that has been sprayed with FAT FREE olive oil cooking spray. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the outside is slightly browned.


In a small skillet over medium-high heat, stir together SUGAR FREE apricot preserves, jalapeƱo slices, rice wine vinegar, pineapple chunks and chicken stock. Reduce until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in scallions.

To serve, arrange chicken on a platter and pour sauce over the top.


RESULTS

I absolutely loved this dish! It was everything I hoped it would be and more! Since hubby and I can't eat shrimp (darn those allergies), we aren't able to enjoy coconut fried shrimp. It always looks so tempting on menus and in food magazines, but clearly the side effects of consumption are not worth the few minutes of taste-bud bliss. Now I don't have to look at my mom's plate of coconut friend shrimp in pure envy at the beach in a couple of weeks. We now have a great alternative that can handle those cravings and stop this feeling of "missing out"!

Not only did this recipe make a great dish over some mixed baby greens, but it would also work well as an appetizer or kid-friendly dish. Instead of using cutlets, use the boneless/skinless chicken tenders. The sauce would then be used for dipping instead of pouring over the top. And there you have it! A tropical-inspired treat you and the kids can eat with your hands! Fun! I can see myself making a batch of these this summer as an appetizer...served along with perhaps Giada's Aloha LA Cocktail or Rach's Grapefruit Margarita! Yep...that's gonna happen.

And how does this dish stand up nutritionally?

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):

BEFORE: 674 calories;  25.44g fat;  49.73g carbohydrate;  62.82g protein;  2.3g fiber

AFTER: 312 calories;  6.48g fat;  38.53g carbohydrate;  33.41g protein;  3.95g fiber




SAVES: 362 calories;  18.96g fat;  11.23g carbohydrate ADDS: 1.65g fiber

To sum it up, this is a great summer dish (or appetizer) to make. It's light, fruity and full of flavor. I really think you will love it! Try it on shrimp and fish too!





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