Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Chicken with Asparagus and Three Cheeses

I'm going through my recipe archives and updating recipes that don't have photos. Sometimes I'll make a few slight changes to the recipe, like I did this time for an updated version with a little less sauce and less cheese. It's still rich and creamy enough that this should be a "once in a while" treat for South Beach Dieters.

I used low fat sharp cheddar for the cheese to sprinkle over the top. It tasted great, but the low fat cheese definitely doesn't melt as attractively as higher fat cheeses do. If I was making this for a special occasion, I'd splurge and go for something like Gruyere cheese instead of the low fat cheddar.

First, seasoned, browned chicken breasts and lightly blanched asparagus are layered in a casserole dish.

A sauce made from chicken stock, sour cream, goat cheese, and parmesan is poured over and sharp cheddar is sprinkled over, then the dish is baked.

Chicken and Asparagus with Three Cheeses
(Makes 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut in two pieces
olive oil for browning chicken
salt, pepper, poultry seasoning for seasoning chicken
1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 cup chicken stock, simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
3 oz. soft goat cheese (Chevre or Montrachet type)
3 T Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup low fat sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 375. Trim all visible fat and membrane from chicken breasts and cut each one in half crosswise.

Season chicken with spices, then saute in large frying pan in about 1 T olive oil. Cook until chicken pieces are well browned on both sides. (You will have to turn each piece a couple of times to get this result. Don't rush this step.)

Meanwhile, cut off woody ends of asparagus. (Snap one piece to see how much to cut off, it will break off right where the woody part starts.) Cut asparagus diagonally into 2 inch pieces. Bring pan of barely salted water to a gentle boil, put asparagus in and boil 3 minutes, drain, then put asparagus in cold water to stop cooking and drain again. Let it drain well.

Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray. Layer browned chicken, then asparagus. Use chicken stock to deglaze pan that you cooked the chicken in and scrape up all little browned bits. Let stock simmer about five minutes. Lower heat and whisk sour cream into sauce and continue to heat over very low heat. When mixture is hot (but not boiling) add goat cheese and Parmesan and whisk into sauce until melted. Do not boil or the mixture will separate.

Pour sauce over chicken and asparagus and sprinkle sharp cheddar over top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is just starting to bubble. (Don't cook it too long or the sauce will separate.)

South Beach Suggestions:
Due to the relatively high fat content in the sauce, this is a "once in a while" treat for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Serve with a healthy salad for phase one or something like Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi for phase two or three.
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More to Chew On:


  1. I just love asparagus and the sauce looks divine! I can't wait to try this with the chicken I have on hand.

  2. I love asparagus, too. In fact, I steamed some for supper last night, it was soooo good.

    My wife and I will definitely want to try this recipe, it looks awesome.

    Thanks again!

    Best -

  3. Those pictures are lovely--the green color of the asparagus is wonderful And the dish looks yummy too.

  4. What a fab combo = chicken + asparagus + cheese[s]. I'm on it! [And I'm adding it to the Gluten Free Recipe Search Engine.]


  5. Laurie, thanks. I think you'll like it.

    Braden, you're so sweet. I think you were one of my very first readers!

    Sher, thanks (it's the camera, as you know!)

    Karina, great minds thinking alike and all that because when I was making this I thought about it being gluten-free. I was pretty sure it was. Thanks for putting me in the search engine. I need to add that to my links. (I'll put it on my ever-growing list of things to do.)

  6. Asparagus seems to be in the air these days. (Is that a wierd image, or what?) Maybe it's our longing for spring, but everyone seems to be eating them. This looks like another great way to use them - thanks!

  7. Again just good food...this sounds so easy and looks wonderful. I'm a lover of asparagus!

  8. Thank you for this recipe --- Loved it! I found it really doable, and thats coming from a non-cook. I made it tonight but didn't have the goat cheese and cheddar so put parmesan and mozzarella instead. Hopefully I haven complete ingredients next time.

  9. I made this for guests last night, substituting aged swiss cheese for most of the low-fat cheddar. I "sort of" made a double batch, but didn't have the right proportion of goat cheese. Nonetheless, I got lots of compliments on the sauce. My husband loves "chicken with sauce" and "asparagus" so it was perfect for him.

  10. Claire, glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know.

  11. This recipe was awesome! I Googled recipes for chicken and asparagus at work (I knew that's all I had in the fridge) and your recipe came up. This is definitely one for the recipe book! Delicious and super easy - Thanks!

  12. Alex, so glad you liked it. One of my favorites too!

  13. YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!!

  14. Made this for dinner last night and it was a big hit! I used herbed goat cheese and the sauce was so yummy!

  15. I made this for dinner last night and my teenage boy ate ALL of it! My hubby is out of town, so we deviated from SB friendly to go rogue. As I did not have goat cheese on hand, I added about 2 T of cream cheese to the sauce. I also sautéed 2 garlic cloves & 1/2 of a thinly sliced shallot before making the sauce to pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Tarragon, basil and a sprinkle of lemon pepper were added to the sauce. The nail-in-the-coffin on the SB healthiness were the bow-tie noodles I served this over. I think wild rice would have been better, but I was short on time. This recipe, as ALL the other ones I've tried, was wonderful!! THANK YOU so very much for posting these culinary gems. You're tops!

  16. Mary, so glad it was a hit (and btw, I think it's perfectly ok to "go rogue" once in a while!)

  17. This may seem a silly question but what size casserole dish should you use for this recipe. Sounds fabulous and I'd like to give it a trie

  18. The dish I used was 9" x 11" but I think any size that's close to that will be okay. (Good thing I recognized the dish from the photos!)

  19. I tried this recipe the other night and it was delicious! I'm thinking about using the sauce to make a South Beach friendly creamed spinach!

    You have a beautiful website too!


  20. Joyce, glad you enjoyed it, and I think this sauce would be lovely for creamed spinach (great idea!)

    And thanks for the nice feedback on the blog!

  21. I am not a huge fan of goat cheese, but I keep seeing this recipe & it just looks sooooooo good! So I tried Asiago last night with this recipe! It was great but didn't have quite the "thickness" of a sauce, mostly the asiago stuck to the bottom of the pan...Any ideas on another cheese that might work? I have no idea about cheeses. Thanks for all the Phase 1 recipes! Being on SBD for over a year can make for a boring menu, but your blog has kept me steadfast & motivated! I know this is a lifetime change, not just a diet now, because I have seen how it can be done:)

  22. Rachel maybe try a combination of cheese like Asiago and a good melting cheese like mozzarella. You could also use some low-fat cream cheese with the Asiago, which would give more body to the sauce. Glad you're enjoying the blog!

  23. I made this tonight for night 2 of the south beach diet because I already had chicken, broth and cheese in the fridge. With it being the dead of winter, no fresh asparagus was available and i substituted brocolli which I steamed in the casserole dish in the microwave to save a dish... the broccoli was a good sub but will definitely make it according to the recipe in springtime. I also made the full amt of sauce for half the chicken with the fear that since it was a diet recipe there wouldn't be enough sauce. Well there ended up being too much, so now I know there was really no need to mess with the ratios! Full of flavor :-)

  24. Las, glad you enjoyed it. Good idea to use broccoli for this in the winter!

  25. This recipe sounds wonderful. I do have one question. It says to cut the chicken breast crosswise into two pieces. Is that a crosswise cut as you would cut to stuff it thus making the breast thinner or crosswise so you still have two thick pieces out of one breast?

  26. Crosswise means cut across the shorter part of the chicken(side to side), as opposed to lengthwise, which would mean to cut down the longer part.

  27. Looks like I'm resurrecting an older recipe! Yay! This is happening tonight, but I'm gonna have to substitute Neufchatel for the goat cheese...thoughts?

  28. Luna Tech Chick, that will work, although you'll miss the pungent flavor of the goat cheese. Maybe add garlic to the sauce or sub part of the creamy cheese for more Parmesan.

  29. Dear Kalyn,
    Made this for dinner tonight. So So So good. Know this is an old post but use your recipes often. Have lost over 30# partly thanks to your recipes and Pam Anderson "The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great".
    You keep me inspired.
    Blessings Suze

  30. Suze, so glad you enjoyed it, and congrats on the 30 pounds!


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