The other night I posted this photo of our dinner on the usual social media platforms and so many people asked for the recipe! It’s a simple recipe and I posted the photo only because I thought it looked pretty. But it’s also a delicious dish and I will share it with you in a minute.
Before I give you the recipe, a word of caution: if you are afraid of fat you will probably not be interested in proceeding.
I have been in the [food and] wine business most of my adult life – about 25 years. Not only is it my vocation, it’s also my avocation. Thinking about food, wine, cooking and feeding friends takes up a large part of my day. The actual cooking, eating and drinking pretty much takes up the rest!
The by-products of all of this eating and drinking are lots of joy and good company, plus a few pounds I could do without.
I’ve said before that I am a reluctant exerciser, so that doesn’t help either. Between the abundance of food and wine, and the lack of motivation to exercise regularly….well, you can see where this is going.
Like many, being somewhat overweight is an ongoing burden in my life. The older I get the more pressing this issue becomes. Not only is it harder to lose weight, but I am also watching my parents age and I see that, despite being blessed with great genes, their sedentary life has made their aging all the more difficult.
As usual, January brought a renewed drive to get this figured out. How can I lose the weight, and not give up the life I love?
I dabbled with Weight Watchers once again. The first days were full of conviction “I can do this!”. But as the weeks wore on that damn counting Points was my downfall, once again! I spend way too much time eating food other people have prepared to be able to dissect a dish and figure out the Points value. Though I do like the premise of being able to eat everything and anything, as long as it’s in moderation. It’s the moderation part that gets me. And the counting. Not to mention the fact that Weight Watchers – while they are better than they used to be about this – espouse an acceptance of processed low-fat and artificial foods that I don’t agree with. Given their world-wide audience, I wish they would take a more responsible approach. As I said, they’re getting better about that.
So just this week, I have decided to investigate a path which I know has really worked well for some friends, and I have dallied with once or twice – that is the Low Carb/High Fat diet. I won’t go in to the science of it, though the basic premise is that sugar is the thing we don’t need and fat is the thing we do. You can read lots and lots about the plan here. This plan was first popularized by a doctor in Sweden and has spread through Europe quickly. The people I know who have had success with it have not only lost weight but also seen their blood pressure and other medical numbers improve dramatically.
It’s never easy to give up entire food groups – No bread? No legumes? No starch at all? But I actually find that kind of black and white plan easier than trying to find a way to moderate. Or to count. And this plan advocates for real food, which is very important to me.
So when I decided to experiment with this way of eating again I pulled out the three cookbooks I purchased (of course!) the last time I looked into this. (To be fair, I would have to say that consistency is really a big part of my problem. I need to adopt a plan and stay with it for at least a few months, instead of a few days which is my usual MO).
Hence this recipe from a book called The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby.
If you serve this chicken with its sauce on a bed of sautéed garlicky spinach and accompanied by a glass of Pinot noir, you likely will agree with me that there is absolutely nothing missing from the meal.
Chicken with Bacon, Cream and Thyme
By February 24, 2014Published:
- Yield: 4 Servings
Adapted from the book The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby. She uses boneless with skin on chicken breasts, while I just use boneless and skinless, as it's easier. However, I think this recipe is best made with a smallish breast, otherwise it may dry out.
- 4 smallish chicken boneless chicken breasts with skin, if possible
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 strips of bacon
- 8 small fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 ounces dry white wine or chicken stock
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap 2 bacon strips around each chicken breast, forming an X in the middle of the breast. Tuck 2 thyme sprigs per breast behind the bacon.
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat (I use cast iron). Place the chicken breasts, bacon side down, in the pan and cook until the bacon and chicken are browned, Turn over and brown the other side.
Drain off the fat and add the wine, cream and garlic. Bring just to a boil.
- Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cream has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.