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You know something’s good when you make it more than once in two-week time period (and when you find yourself eating the leftovers every day afterwards until it’s literally all gone).
This is exactly what happened when I found myself standing in front of the fridge one night a few weeks ago, scratching my head, trying to scrounge up something for dinner. We had plenty of food, but it was all sorts of random odds and ends and I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to turn that into a meal that would please all the varying palates in my family.
(I know you’ve been there too…I feel your pain.)
So, while staring into the vast abyss that is my fridge, I found divine inspiration in a dish that I’ve had often at Applebee’s on their Weight Watchers menu, but have always found rather lacking. I decided it was time to do it justice…and so I did. I hope you’ll agree.
By the way, you can grab the recipe right here.
I started out with some simple boneless, skinless chicken breasts that were fairly thin (the thicker ones I sliced in half so everything cooked at the same time). In my effort to reduce costs, I just used a bag of frozen BL/SL chicken breasts from Aldi, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I seasoned them aggressively on both sides with salt, pepper, and my Montreal Steak Seasoning. (I know, weird, right? But it’s what I grabbed and it turned out delicious, so I ain’t mad about it.)
While seasoning the chicken, I took a few strips of bacon and cut them into lardons and rendered the fat out into a skillet. Once the bacon was crisp, I used a slotted spoon to pull it out and drain it, leaving the fat in the pan. (Yes, this is actually still figure friendly even with the bacon fat, because all told it’s only about a tablespoon or 2 at the most- and it’s all the ‘oil’ I used)
I then sauteed my chicken in the bacon fat, searing it to a nice brown color on both sides, before pulling it out and placing it a casserole dish. (It’s okay if your chicken isn’t completely cooked through- it will spend some time in the oven to finish cooking.)
Once my chicken was all cooked, I used the same skillet (don’t clean it!) to brown up some gorgeous cremini and button mushrooms and then to wilt down some spinach in garlic, respectively. When all my components were finished cooking, I was able to start my assembly!
Since my chicken was already in the casserole dish, I just started my layering. First the perfectly browned mushrooms, then the beautifully wilted spinach and garlic, next comes the bacon that I crumbled with my fingers and sprinkled over the top, and I finished it off with a nice layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Toss it in the oven (well, place gently actually) to bake at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes or until your cheese is nice and melty and you’re sure your chicken is cooked through.
Remove, serve with wild rice or couscous (our family faves), and dine in ecstasy! Your tastebuds will thank me!
This meal, as sinful as it sounds, is actually really good for you! You get some good veggies in you thanks to the spinach and mushrooms, you get a low-fat dairy thanks to the part-skim mozzarella, and a lean protein thanks to the boneless, skinless chicken breast. Even with the addition of the bacon and the nominal bacon fat, each chicken breast and all it’s toppings comes in at only…(drumroll please)…
That’s awesome considering the amount of food you get and how amazing it tastes!
Go make this now.
I won’t mind a bit.
And then come back and tell me how much you loved it.
And how much your scale loved you FOR it!
Till next time… may the fork be with you!
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