Feel like eating restaurant-quality fare in the comfort of your own kitchen? Give this recipe a place on your weekend menu. The secret to its sumptuous taste is the layering of mushrooms, fennel and bacon that infuses the chicken.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  2. 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  3. 1 cup dry red wine, divided
  4. 1/4 cup Atkins Bake Mix
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kosher or table salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  8. 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, rinsed, patted dry
  9. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  10. 6 slices pancetta or turkey bacon, diced
  11. 1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  12. 1 8-ounce fennel bulb (without stalks), thinly sliced
  13. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  14. 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
  15. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In large oven-proof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they soften and give off liquid, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates.
  3. Add 1/2 cup red wine and increase heat to high; boil until most of wine evaporates. Remove from heat and transfer mushrooms to plate. Set aside.
  4. Combine Atkins Bake Mix, salt, black pepper and cayenne in shallow baking dish. Dredge chicken in mix, shaking breast half to remove excess.
  5. Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Place three breast halves in skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and repeat with remaining three chicken breast halves.
  6. Add pancetta or turkey bacon to skillet and cook in pan drippings, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.
  8. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Increase heat to high and stir in 1/2 cup wine, sage and reserved mushrooms (plus any juice that accumulated on plate).
  9. Remove from heat and add chicken to pan, spooning mushroom mixture on top of breast halves. Cover tightly and place in oven on middle rack. Bake until chicken is tender and cooked through (internal temperature 170F.), about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Serve immediately with crisp green salad or vegetable side. Store leftovers in refrigerator in airtight containers for up to 3 days. Per serving: 11g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 22g protein, 12g fat, 96mg cholesterol, 639mg sodium, 249 calories.

About the author: Michele Thompson, MS [aka Shelly Sinton], author of "The Fitness Kitchen" (Taylor, 2004)] is a freelance writer on all things culinary. She is the founder of www.ShellysFitnessKitchen.com and a health-focused personal chef in Bozeman, Montana.

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