Lighter Chicken Bellagio

Oven-fried chicken with prosciutto, arugula and a guiltless pesto-asiago cream sauce aka a lighter version of the popular dish “Chicken Bellagio”.

Lighter Chicken Bellagio 2

Yesterday’s interview for an adjunct teaching position went very well. In fact they were quite impressed with me! The down-side is that they may only have one class for me to teach in the upcoming term (which translates to a small paycheck). But they might have more next term which starts in December, so getting my foot in the door now could pay off. I have lots to think about and if you know me at all you are aware of my very pensive mind. Which is a nice way of saying I think too darn much, especially when it involved life decisions.

Lighter Chicken Bellagio 1

In an effort to not over-think things let’s soothe the mind, body, and soul with some comfort food that’s been lightened up. I first had Chicken Bellagio at an Italian restaurant in Rochester, NY but apparently it is also a very popular dish at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, after experiencing it I decided I needed to make a homemade version that is slightly healthier. The chicken is oven-fried and served over whole wheat pasta tossed in a light pesto-asiago cream sauce with prosciutto. Top it off with some fresh arugula and it’s a sight for sore eyes!

One year ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

Three years ago: Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Basil Roasted Peaches

LIGHTER CHICKEN BELLAGIO

Serves 4

Ingredients:

PESTO CREAM SAUCE

1 cup 2% milk

2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese

1 Tbsp flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp light butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup shredded Asiago, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup basil pesto

CHICKEN

4 thin chicken breasts

1 egg white

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

SERVING

7 oz. (1/2 box) whole grain spaghetti, cooked

2 oz. (4 slices) prosciutto, cut into thin strips

2 oz. (2 cups lightly packed) fresh arugula

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt. Process until smooth and set aside.
  3. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes until the sauce begins to simmer. Remove from heat, stir in Asiago cheese until melted and cover the pan immediately.
  5. Let stand for at least 10 minutes prior to using. It will continue to thicken to desired consistency.
  6. While the sauce sets, prepare the chicken. Place the egg white in a shallow bowl and lightly beat. Combine Panko and Italian seasoning in a second shallow bowl. Dip the chicken into the egg then coat with the bread crumbs. Arrange on prepared rack and spray tops with cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  7. Toss cooked spaghetti and prosciutto in the pesto cream sauce. Serve topped with chicken, arugula and shredded Asiago cheese.

Source: Chicken adapted slightly from my Oven-Fried Chicken & Biscuit Waffles. Sauce adapted from my Guiltless Fettucine Alfredo. Inspired by a dish at Bazil in Rochester, NY (similar dish at The Cheesecake Factory).

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2 Responses to “Lighter Chicken Bellagio”

  • Susan:

    Erin, I can sympathize with over-thinking things – I’m really good at it. My thinking is that you would do well to take this job. Not only will it allow you to get your foot in the door, it will also show up as experience on your resume. If you have a job (a difficult thing to get these days), it will be easier to get another, better job later on. I am delighted to know that you did well at the interview. And I like the way you celebrate. This recipe sounds well worth trying.

  • W-O-W. I am ready for second dinner now! I’ve never had chicken bellagio but I kind of want a giant platter of this, immediately. :)

    PS Congrats on your interview! My husband adjuncts so it is a life I know well. :) I hope it all works out for you!

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