Oprah’s “Maya’s Smothered Chicken” with a Livliga Twist!

Friday, July 21, 2017
An Update Oprah Recipe with a Livliga Twist!
It has been a fun journey to read from and discover recipes in Oprah’s first cookbook Food, Health and Happiness. It is an interesting insight into her life, loves and life long weight challenges. I relate. Most of us do.
What surprised me about some of her recipes was how caloric they were and how much fat, flour and overall carbs there were in them. For a general cookbook I would totally get it but for one that is specifically tailored to the Weight Watchers community, I was a little more than surprised. Additionally, with so many people experiencing specialized diets like gluten free, dairy free, low carb, vegetarian, Paleo or Whole30, I thought there might be more sensitivity towards them in her range of recipes. This insight into her recipes gave me a challenge. I decided to pick a few and see how I might be able to stay true to the flavor, texture, smell and overall yumminess while making them more relevant to people’s needs today. My Oprah recipe updates focus on being Calorie Sensitive, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Whole30 and Paleo compliant, mainly Dairy Free and as Easy as possible to make. Below is one such offering.

Oprah’s “Maya’s Smothered Chicken” with a Livliga Twist


  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ¼ cup clarified butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup almond flour (not meal)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced and rings separated
  • 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken stock, low sodium and with no added sugar (i.e., Imagine)
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour


  • Wash chicken and place it in a sealable bag with the lemon juice and enough water to coat. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, turning every couple of minutes. Can be marinated longer in the refrigerator, up to an hour.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Season with Salt and Pepper.
  • In shallow bowl place the almond flour and dredge chicken, coating lightly.
  • Place coated chicken in hot skillet with the heated butter and oil. Use a skillet that can hold all eight thighs.
  • Cook chicken until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate or platter.
  • Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the liquid left in the skillet. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes until onions are softened and translucent. Stir constantly scraping loose anything that starts to stick on the sides or bottom. When it seems too dry in the pan add up to a ¼ cup of chicken stock to avoid any burning.
  • Return chicken to the pan and add the remainder of the chicken stock. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 25 – 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven. Add the arrowroot roux (see Tip) and whisk into the mixture to thickened the liquid and make it more gravy like.
  • Serve up hot. Eat mindfully.

Serves: 8 (1 chicken thigh with ½ cup vegetables with sauce)

Calories: 348 Calories   Original Recipe Calories: 536 (that's a 188 calorie improvement!)

Make it a meal: Serve over ½ cup roasted cauliflower“rice” crumbles (35 calories) and as your vegetable, serve up 1 cup steamed green beans with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (31 calories).

Total calories for the meal: 414 (making it a meal is still less calories than Oprah’s original recipe AND more visually appealing!).

Tips: Make sure to only add the arrowroot flour to the liquid in the skillet at the very end when you are ready to serve up. Add some juice from the pan, about ¼ cup, to a small bowl, carefully adding the arrowroot and whisk until blended, then add it to the skillet to avoid clumps.

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