Cold Sliced Chicken in Tuna Sauce

Cold Sliced Chicken in Tuna Sauce

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From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 1995

A twist on the classic Italian dish vitello tonnato—poached veal marinated in tuna sauce—is popular on hot summer nights. Make it a meal: Serve with grilled vegetables, whole-grain baguette and a glass of pinot grigio.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1½ pounds)
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 6-ounce can chunk light tuna packed in water, drained (see Note)
  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 plump head garlic, roasted (see Tip)
  • ½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Thin lemon slices for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, preferably Italian flat-leaf, for garnish


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  1. Place chicken in a large skillet or saucepan. Pour broth over the chicken; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately turn the chicken over with tongs or a fork, cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let steep until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate, letting the chicken cool in the broth.
  2. Place tuna and anchovies in a food processor and process until very smooth. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skins into the processor. Add mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, capers, olive oil and mustard. Blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
  3. Slice the chicken on the diagonal into ¼-inch-thick slices. Spread one-third of the tuna sauce on a serving platter. Arrange the chicken on the sauce, then cover with the remaining sauce. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator a few minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon slices, capers and parsley.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.
  • Tip: To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place each head of garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and wrap into a package. Place the packages directly on the oven rack and roast until cloves are soft, 30 to 40 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 222 calories; 9 g fat(2 g sat); 0 g fiber; 9 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 13 mcg folate; 76 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 72 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 63 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 373 mg sodium; 417 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3½ lean meat, 1 fat

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