Low Fat Creamy Parmesan Chicken with Mushroom Pilaf

Over the course of this blog I have both developed and discovered some amazing recipes that I love. This dish is an accumulation of THREE of my favorite recipes of all time: Carrabba’s Parmesan Chicken, our best bites alfredo sauce, and my favorite perfect pilaf rice recipe.  By using the most low-fat creamy alfredo sauce I have ever come across with the most crisp, juicy, tender chicken, and some sautéed mushrooms with perfectly steamed basmati pilaf rice–this dish has fast  become one of the BEST recipes I have ever posted, and definitely a new family fave. I hope it becomes one in your home too!

Ingredients

{for the rice}
1 cup Basmati Rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp salted butter, divided
salt and pepper
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
Couple handfuls spinach

{for the chicken: recipe adapted from Carrabba’s Italian Grill}
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthways {to make thin}
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
3 Tbsp olive oil

{for the sauce: adapted from www.ourbestbites.com}
2 cups milk
1/3 C (3 oz) low fat cream cheese
2-3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the basmati rice in a rice cooker, or follow the instructions here for perfect stove-top pilaf rice.  In a saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp butter in 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and softened, and slightly shrunken in size {about 5-7 minutes}. Season generously with salt and pepper, and set aside. Add a little water to the same pan, and add a couple handfuls spinach. Cook until wilted. When the rice is done, add 1 Tbsp butter, the sautéed mushrooms and spinach.

Lightly pound each chicken breast to about 1/2″ thickness. Add the panko and parmesan to a shallow dish, and 2 beaten eggs to another. Dip the chicken in the eggs, then cover well in the panko mixture, and place on a baking tray.
Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully add the chicken and cook until golden brown, turning after 4-5 minutes and adjusting the heat as needed so the chicken cooks steadily without over-browining, about 10 minutes.

For the sauce, place milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.  In a saucepan, melt the butter over med-high heat and sauté the garlic in the butter for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the milk mixture to the pan, stir constantly for about 5 minutes until thickened. Add the parmesan cheese and stir well to combine.

Plate the mushroom-spinach pilaf in the bottom of some pretty bowls, add the parmesan crusted chicken on top, followed by the creamy alfredo sauce.

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