Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pecan Crusted Chicken

So, remember how I told you that I was a scatterbrain and left my camera-to-computer cable in VA?
And remember how I was waiting for the package with said cable inside to arrive at my apartment?
And remember how I posted two recipes sans pretty pretty pictures?  And how that made me sad?  And led to profuse apologies?

Turns out my package could've been in the mailroom at my apartment complex for days.  I finally nabbed someone who works in the office and they had to scour the back room for it...only to find that it was there, but had never been recorded.  No sign-out slot.  No package slip.  Nuthin'.

Long story short: rawwrrrrrrr.  But we have photos again!

...but I apologize for the less-than-great photo for this.  It makes me sad, cause this was delicious.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

I created a recipe!  With amounts and everything!

Pardon me while I take this moment to do a proud-of-myself happy dance.

Okay done.  Anyway, I'm always trying to find new ways of making chicken.  I eat it so often that I really can't afford to get bored with it!  A few days earlier, my parents and I ate dinner at Carabba's, where I had the best piece of fish I've ever had.  One of the things that made this tilapia so spectacular was the hazelnut breading, so I was inspired to try some nut-based breading solutions of my own.  This particular day, I also reeeally did not want to go grocery shopping.  For anything.  A grocery store run sounded like the exact opposite of fun to me.  Thus, the obvious choice was a pantry meal.

This was the result, and it was the best pantry meal I've ever made.  Finely chopped pecans are mixed with whole-wheat breadcrumbs to form the breading for the tender breast pieces, which are then baked quickly in a searing hot oven to seal in all the moisture.  This chicken is perfect to serve with virtually anything: with sauteed vegetables and quinoa, with pasta alfredo, or sliced over a salad - or figure out your own accompaniments!  Regardless, I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as I did!

Pecan Crusted Chicken
Source: a Dancer Bakes original!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half
2 cups pecans, finely chopped or coarsely ground
1-1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 475˚F.  Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat the foil with cooking spray.
Place the flour in a shallow dish.  Mix in salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.  Set aside.
Combine egg and egg whites in a wide bowl and beat together with about 1 tbsp of water.  Set aside.
Mix together breadcrumbs and pecans in a shallow dish or on a sheet of wax paper.  Set aside.
With each piece of chicken, dredge first in the flour mixture, then dip to cover in the egg, then finally coat with the pecan breading.  Lay flat on the baking sheet and repeat till each piece of chicken has been breaded.
Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes, or until no pink remains and each piece is firm to the touch.  Serve as desired.  Enjoy!

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