Modenese-style chicken

For the past few weeks, we have been experimenting with a few types of weight loss diets. We followed a paleo diet for a few months with good results, then we tried a low carb diet, which led me to try this recipe from Modena.

If you cut carbs from a dish, then you have to replace it with something else, and fat seems the way to go.

This recipe may seem outrageous in terms of fat content, but as part of a low carb diet, it makes a lot of sense. The region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy is known for its rich dishes, the New Orleans of Italy, I suppose. Bologna is known as ”the learned”, for its university which is the oldest in the world, ”the red”, for its red roof tiles, and ”the fat”, for its rich cuisine. In Italian, we would say: Bologna la dotta, la rossa e la grassa.

Although a rich dish like this one may seem repulsive to many people, mostly because we have been fed the idea that saturated fat is bad for us, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine last year compared a low carb diet to the usually recommended low-fat diet that is so popular. The results: a low carb diet was more effective in achieving weight loss, reducing fat mass, and improving cholesterol levels, even increasing HDL levels (good cholesterol). If you want to lose weight and improve cholesterol levels, following a low carb diet may be the way to go. Abstract here.

Petto di pollo alla Modenese

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


4 chicken breasts scallops
1/4 cup flour (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices mortadella
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
6 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper
green beans, steamed, to serve


  1. Trim the chicken breasts so that they are about 2 cm thick. Lay them flat between two pieces of cling wrap and beat them very gently with a rolling-pin or a meat mallet to have an even escalope. Season lightly with salt and pepper and dredge in flour (if using), removing all excess.
  2. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken for 3 minutes on the first side, or until it starts to brown. Turn the chicken and cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Top each piece of meat with a slice of mortadella, then add a generous amount of cheese, and add the cream.
  4. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook for a few minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
  5. Serve immediately with steamed green beans.

Pollo alla Modenese

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s