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Cookbook offers mouthwatering menus, clear directions

Dining With The Duchess: Making Everyday Meals a Special Occasion
by Sarah the Duchess of York and Weight Watchers

Simon & Schuster, $25

Review by Margaret Howell

Web posted on: Tuesday, June 23, 1998 3:12:06 PM EDT

(CNN) -- This book is so beautiful -- from the stunning cover portrait of "Fergie" to the page layout and full-color photos of finished dishes -- that it is one for your coffee table.

If you are a meat and potatoes kind of soul, you might want to leave it there. But if you've been avoiding those gourmet menus because of calories and fat, you should check this out.

The biggest drawback to these recipes is that many involve ingredients not usually kept on hand - for example, "Chicken Calvados" calls for two tablespoons of Calvados (apple brandy), "Bittersweet Fruit" requires 1/4 cup of Italian Bitters, and "Turkey Empanadas" are made with Phyllo dough. Of course, all of this is remedied by a quick trip to the grocery store or bottle shop.

I found the silliest recipe to be "Strawberries In Champagne." The ingredients -- 24 small strawberries and 4 cups of champagne. The directions -- "Place 3 strawberries in each of 4 champagne flutes -- top with champagne." Umm ... Duh?

All the recipes include full nutrition information, as well as the points assigned for Weight Watchers 1-2-3 Program.

The menus are mouthwatering ("Ginger Peach Souffle, "Mediterranean Fisherman's Stew" and "Chocolate Mousse Tartlets" and include appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts. The directions are clear, concise and easy to follow.

I taste tested "Honey Dipped Chicken Nuggets" -- My guests agreed with me -- delicious! The chicken was moist and had a delicate flavor. Perfect for topping a green salad, or late-night munching. Now if only I could get Sarah's chef to prepare them for me!

"Honey Dipped Chicken Nuggets'
Makes 10 servings

3 Tablespoons honey
1 Egg white, lightly beaten
2 Pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 Cup cornflake crumbs
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup reduced calorie mayonnaise
1/4 Cup Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the honey and the egg white; add the chicken and stir to coat. Transfer the chicken to a colander and set over a large bowl.

2. On a sheet of wax paper, combine the cornflake crumbs and salt. One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the crumbs, then place on the baking sheet. Spray the tops of the chicken lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard and the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey. Serve the chicken nuggets with the dipping sauce.

Per serving : 192 calories, 7G total fat, 1G sat. fat, 55mg cholesterol, 332mg sodium, 11G total Carbohydrate, 0G dietary fiber, 21G protein, 19mg Calcium. Points Per Serving : 4

Margaret Howell is a promotions producer at CNN. She loves writing and cooking.

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