Pecan-Crusted Chicken

This chicken is SOOO good. My SIL Heidi sent me this recipe, and Matt and I had it for dinner last night. I figured it might be a bit spicy for the kids, so I just did Shake ‘n Bake on some of the chicken (I have no idea why that was even in my pantry, but it was!) for the boys.

This is actually really simple, takes about 30 minutes start to finish, and is delicious.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1-1 1/4 pounds), pounded flat to 1/4″ thickness*
1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces
1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper**
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.

For once in my life, I didn’t try to mess with a recipe and change things…and I’m glad I didn’t. It was so good. Next time, though, I might try to use walnuts instead of pecans just because they’re so much better for you. I think it will still taste great!

* To pound flat: place one chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board (so bits of chicken don’t fly up at you), and take out all of your frustrations on the chicken with a meat mallet or heavy skillet. The recipe also recommends removing the tenders from the underside of the chicken if the pieces are larger than 4 oz each. You can freeze the tenders for stir fry, or like me, make them into dinner for your children.

** Ground chipotle pepper is found in the specialty spice section of large grocery stores…I found mine at Dierbergs.

Here’s a pic of the leftover chicken cut up in my salad at lunch today. Yum.

pecan chicken

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