Dear Jeanne: As we have aged, we cannot have some of the meals we used to, due to cholesterol problems and high blood pressure. I really miss having these kinds of indulgent dishes; can you make it so that we can still enjoy this chicken dish without all the fat and cholesterol? — Sue D., Sarasota, Fla.

Dear Sue: Yes, butter and heavy cream are delicious but very high in fat. You can use either evaporated skim milk or fat-free half-and-half to replace the cream — just make sure to thicken the sauce with flour, or half the amount of cornstarch or arrowroot, whichever you prefer, or the sauce will appear curdled.

CHICKEN IMPERIAL

4 large chicken breasts, boned and skinned

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

1 pound mushrooms, quartered

1 tablespoon minced onion

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

On wax paper, coat the chicken with 1/4 cup flour. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in butter until lightly browned on both sides. Set aside. Cook mushrooms and onion in skillet with drippings, stirring often. Stir in sherry, cream, salt and pepper. Return chicken to skillet, cover, simmer on low heat 20 minutes. Remove chicken to warm platter. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Makes 4 servings.

LIGHT CHICKEN IMPERIA

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 small onion, minced

1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth or water

1 pound mushrooms, quartered or sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry sherry or more broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray. Place over medium-high heat and add the chicken breasts. Cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned; turn over and cook on the other side until lightly browned, 3 more minutes. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the chicken, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 more minutes, or until no longer pink inside.

2. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Add the olive oil and the onion. Pour enough of the broth or water into the pan to deglaze. Scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sherry and bring to a boil.

3. Dissolve the cornstarch in the half-and-half and add to the mixture. Add the salt and pepper, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Serve immediately over the chicken breasts.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 683 calories; 50 gm fat; 248 mg cholesterol; 1,153 mg sodium; 13 gm carbohydrates; 42 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 318 calories; 7 gm fat; 86 mg cholesterol; 438 mg sodium; 18 gm carbohydrates; 34 gm protein; 2 gm fiber.


Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (59 cents), self-addressed envelope. © King Features Syndicate Inc.