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Impress with ease

This just might be the perfect entree. Half a century ago, this easily could have been the recipe the wife of an ambitious guy would keep handy in anticipation of that fateful call: "Honey, the boss and his wife are coming to our house for dinner tonight."

Even better, this is a lightened-up recipe, so our housewife heroine, in her floaty shirtwaist dress paired with heels and pearls, wouldn't have had to move the matching belt over a notch later (the boss's wife would have thanked her, too). Today, you have this and still get in the skinny jeans.

Full credit goes to Taste of Home's Light & Tasty magazine. They, in turn, give credit to Debra Hibbs of Beaumont, Calif., who says, "Serve it for your next event or family meal. No one will be disappointed!"

I second that. It's also extremely easy. Love it!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2/3 cup half-and-half cream

1 cup uncooked instant rice

1 package (9 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, cooked and drained

1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large, nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in butter for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove and keep warm.

Add wine or broth to the skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6 to 9 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken and keep warm.

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine flour and cream until smooth; gradually stir into skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Divide rice among four plates; top with chicken, sauce, artichokes and olives.

Yield: 4 servings. Per serving: 373 calories; 12 g. fat; 90 mg. cholesterol; 575 mg. sodium; 4 g. fiber.

Note: I've substituted canned artichoke hearts for the frozen ones with no problem; you also don't have to cook them first.