January 3, 2011

Pecan-crusted chicken

This chicken is so simple, yet so tasty. Probably everyone out there has had pecan-crusted chicken at some point. It's a great alternative to fried, breaded chicken. I've made this twice over the past few weeks and we have really enjoyed it. Both times I served the chicken with a big salad. The salad in the photos here was full of radicchio, romaine, pear, pomegranate seeds, and goat cheese. The last time I made salad of mixed greens with oranges and roasted beets. Both times I made a honey-mustard vinaigrette (this one was extra pretty and flavorful because I put pomegranate juice in it), which paired perfectly with not only the salads, but the chicken as well. 

If your chicken breasts are large or thick, or of they are just differently sized, you may want to cut them in half and/or pound them out so that they cool evenly. The free-range, organic chicken breasts I buy are often much smaller than the conventional chicken breasts, so I don't find it to be necessary. Make yourself a big salad full of winter greens and fruits and cook up some of this chicken to go with it. 

Pecan-crusted chicken
about 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup ground pecans
1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons flour
1 large egg
extra virgin olive oil

Grind the pecans in a food processor or put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a mallet or heavy pan until fine ground. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle olive oil or spray the bottom of a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Take out three large plates. On one plate, crack the egg and whisk it. One the second plate, spread out the flour. On the third plate, add the pecans, bread crumbs, paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, then egg, and then the pecan mixture. Shake off the excess. Place in the baking pan. Lightly drizzle the chicken with some olive oil. Bake the chicken until cooked through and the pecan crust becomes golden and crispy. The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts.

What was I cooking one year ago?: sweet potato pie


  1. I love using nuts to crust chicken! This looks incredibly good!

  2. Looks so wonderful, and that salad sounds amazing as well!

  3. wow....I love pecans and I really think that I will like this recipe. Thanks for sharing.


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