Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

My first food-related post!  Hooray!  As I'm sure you can tell, I'm pretty darn excited about this.  Anyway, I won't keep you.  To the food!!

I initially came across this recipe while flipping through a copy of my mom's Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine during college.  And I've been making it ever since.  You can see the recipe online at her magazine's website here.  It's a nice, simple little recipe with few ingredients, one that could potentially be made with supplies you already have on hand.  The only one I don't always have hanging around is the pecans.  Okay and the honey mustard, too.  But more on that later.

Sean really likes this one, too, and I'm glad.  It's simple enough that you won't mind whipping it up on a weeknight for your significant other/family, and yet tasty and pretty enough to serve to company.    

To make this you'll need:

1 cup pecans
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp dried basil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup honey mustard
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper

Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.  

Next, toast the pecans on the stove top, just until they become fragrant.  (Be careful, they burn pretty easily if you're not watching!) 

Once they're toasted, transfer the pecans to the bowl of a food processor and grind the nuts into fine crumbs.  If you don't have a food processor, you can always put the nuts in a zip top bag and pulverize them with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or even the bottom of a pan.  We received this little beauty as a wedding gift.  

It's one of my favorite new toys.  One word of advice, though, if you do find yourself to be sans food processor: once you've beaten the pecans and think that they might be fine enough... keep going.  The pecans don't adhere to the chicken very well unless they are pretty fine.  

Next, you'll want to transfer the pecans to a shallow bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, dried basil, and season with salt and pepper.  You should then rub the chicken breasts with honey mustard, and coat them in the pecan mixture.  If you're like me, and don't have actual honey mustard in the fridge (because let's face it, this is practically the only recipe I use it for, and it would end up being a waste of space in the fridge), just mix up some Dijon mustard and honey until it tastes about right.  

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil (I usually skip this step... mostly because I forget about it).  Then bake!  The recipe says to bake them for 15-20 minutes, but I find that it usually takes mine a bit longer.  Then again, I'm slightly paranoid about under cooking poultry.  Either way, cook the chicken until the juices run clear.  

While prepping the chicken, and during the time that it's baking, I'll usually throw a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven to bake and prepare some other kind of vegetable.  Tonight it's broccoli.  I've been on a broccoli kick lately.  

The chicken is savory, and yet slightly sweet too.  It's a staple in my kitchen, and is in our regular recipe rotation.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to leave a comment or question. I'm always just happy to know that someone is reading my blog! =)