Chicken is such a versatile bird. It can be be prepared in so many wonderful ways and in comparison to beef it is low in fat and calories which adapts well to my diet plan.
I have found this recipe from epicurious.com for garlic chicken which was very interesting and has a Spanish touch to it. It originally was printed in a cookbook by Joyce Goldstein entitled, Tapas: Sensational Small Plates From Spain. The recipe was intended for small plates or appetizers and it used chicken thighs.
Each serving of two chicken thighs (6 ounces) had a calorie count of 411 with a fat count of 24 grams and protein of 33. I wanted to lighten it up to fit my plan so I used four chicken breasts (6 ounces each) instead of the thighs and reduced the cooking oil considerably.
The light meat of the chicken has less flavor than the dark meat but that is probably because it doesn’t have as much fat. Fat equals flavor.
So to compensate for the difference I increased the garlic from eight cloves to ten cloves and used one teaspoon of smokey paprika rather than the sweet paprika.
I prepared my “lightened up” version of the recipe for dinner last night and Don, loved it! He gave me permission to make it again. It really was delicious, the combination of the garlic, smokey paprika and the sherry gave the chicken a powerfully good flavor.
This recipe is easy and it is prepared partially the day before baking. It is best if it is refrigerated overnight to allow for the garlic and paprika to infuse into the chicken breast.
If you are serving it as the main entree for dinner guests that would be a bonus. The next day all that would be required to complete the rest of the recipe is to brown the chicken, add the sauce ingredients which is simple and slide the dish into the oven for 25-30 minutes.
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- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup sherry
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoons cold water
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
- In a small dish mix the paprika, salt, pepper and minced garlic together making a paste. With a spatula spread the garlic paste mixture on both sides of the chicken breasts, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight in order for the flavor to infuse into the chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, turning with tongs as needed, until golden on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes. With the tongs, transfer the chicken to a baking dish arranging them in a single layer.
- Return the pan to low heat. Add the broth, scraping up all the garlic bits left from the chicken. Add the sherry, thyme and bay leaves. Increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for five minutes to allow the herbs to flavor the mixture. Pour over the chicken and transfer the dish to the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake the chicken until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, discard the bay leaves and transfer the chicken breasts to a serving platter.
- Pour the pan juices through a strainer into a saucepan, discard the bits in the strainer; bring juices to a boil over medium high heat. Mix the cornstarch with the cold water and stir in 3 tablespoons of the hot juices. Whisk just enough of the cornstarch mixture into the hot juices to make a light, smooth sauce.
- Spoon the hot sauce over the chicken breasts, garnish with the thyme sprigs and serve immediately.
Amount Per ServingCalories 279 Total Fat 9g Carbohydrates 6g Protein 38g