A Low Cholesterol Take On Melissa Clark’s Green Goddess Chicken

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Previously published on Answers.com.

Have you ever wondered if a recipe in a newspaper or magazine that looks great but has no nutritional date included was a good choice as a low-fat, low-cholesterol entree?  Of course you know that choosing chicken or fish to cook is a far better low cholesterol choice than red meat.  But if the nutritional value isn’t included, how can you tell, really?

An enticing chicken recipe, Green Goddess Chicken from New York Times chef and author Melissa Clark, looked as though it might be a low-cholesterol recipe, but no information was included. So I took the time to enter the ingredients into an online nutritional value calculator.  Turns out that if you substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a whole chicken, this is a low-cholesterol chicken recipe that looks elegant enough to serve to company yet is easy enough for an every-day dinner – as long as you leave time for the chicken to marinade.


  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. In a blender, puree buttermilk, basil, chives, garlic, scallion, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
  2. Put chicken beasts rin a bowl or large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and cover with three-quarters of the Green Goddess marinade. (Save the rest to serve as a sauce.) Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off as much liquid as possible, and lay the breasts on a rimmed baking sheet. Pat chicken tops dry with paper towels and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  4. Roast until cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving, with some of the reserved marinade as sauce if you like.

Recipe Info (Prep/Cook Time)

Prep Time – 30 minutes plus at least 6 hours marinating

Cook Time 30-45 minutes at 500 for bone-in breasts, approximately 25-30 minutes at 400 for boneless, skinless breasts

Serves 4


This recipe does double duty – you save some of the marinade (the part you do NOT use with the raw chicken) as a sauce for the chicken and a homemade, low-fat salad dressing.  And for a fancier presentation – and to satiate those who aren’t eating low-cholesterol – you could follow Melissa Clark’s original cooking directions and make this with either split chicken breasts (or a whole chicken) and then let folks choose if they want to eat the healthier white meat without skin OR the golden skinned leg and breast meat.


Using My Fitness Pal’s Recipe Calculator and buttermilk rather than yogurt, the estimated nutritional value for one serving of this recipe is as follows.  Calories: 233, Carbohydrates: 9, Fat: 9, Cholesterol: 69, Sugar: 5.


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