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  • Danielle

Lighter Chicken Diane and Rice Recipe: Same Great Taste, Less Fat

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Lighter Chicken Diane cooking
Simmering Lighter Chicken Diane Cooking

Love Chicken Diane, but don't want a heavy meal loaded with butter? Give this lighter version of Chicken Diane a try the next time you are craving a fancy-feeling meal. Our Chicken Diane recipe is full of flavor without all the fat.

(You can also make this when you're craving Cheesecake Factory chicken madeira and steak Diane but don't want the calories, or if you are stuck at home and can't get out for a meal.)

I'd never tried Chicken Diane until my first night in my first apartment. My husband wanted to make us something special, and I think he made a good choice! We still make this dish from time to time (read: he still makes this dish from time to time), and its consistency and pleasant simplicity make it one of our favorites. You can make Chicken Diane recipes with rice or pasta; if you make extra sauce, Chicken Diane pasta dishes can be really satisfying. It is good with rice, too, though.

Because of the ingredients, which include butter and brandy, Chicken Diane can have a higher calorie count than perhaps we always want for a weeknight meal. The below recipe is a bit lighter because we swapped out the butter for a light margarine. Also, we have been cutting the chicken into chunks rather than preparing it as full chicken breasts, which not only reduces cooking time, but also helps us to feel satisfied with a smaller portion.

Chicken for Lighter Chicken Diane Recipe
Chicken for Lighter Chicken Diane Recipe

Lighter Chicken Diane and Rice

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

1/2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tbsp. fresh parsley

2 tbsp. light margarine, such as Smart Balance or Brummel and Brown

2 tbsp. brandy (we use Christian Brothers brandy)

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

For the rice:

1 c. white or brown rice

1 c. water

1/2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp. light margarine

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh parsley

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, reduce heat, and cover. Stir frequently. Add the broth once the liquid has dissolved. When rice is cooked, add the margarine, black pepper, and parsley.

Melt 1 tbsp. light margarine in a large non-stick skillet with sides high enough to add liquid. Add chicken breast pieces, and reduce heat to medium. Add freshly ground black pepper and fresh parsley to the chicken. Let chicken cook until done. Add broth, remaining margarine, brandy, and mustard to the skillet. Taste the sauce, and re-season with black pepper and parsley if desired.

Don't forget you can use pasta instead of rice, if you prefer. You can also use potatoes or even mashed cauliflower if you're really trying to cut down on your calorie intake (or up your vegetable servings).

Lighter Chicken Diane with rice and corn.
Lighter Chicken Diane Recipe with Rice

Serving Suggestions for Lighter Chicken Diane and Rice

Serve the Chicken Diane over rice, pasta, potatoes, or vegetables. As you can see from the photos, we served this dinner with corn last time we made it. It also makes a nice meal with broccoli and with pasta instead of the rice. If you let the pasta or rice really soak up some of the extra liquid, it's just delicious.

Top the dish with some grated Parmesan or other bold, flavorful cheese for extra deliciousness.

Fresh chopped parsley on top can also be very pleasant.

Rose wine in glasses
Moscato or white zinfandel

This dinner pairs nicely with a light, fruity wine. I really like Moscato or white zinfandel, but you should feel free to pair it with your favorites.

I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!

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