Thursday, February 4, 2010
Panko, pecans dress up chicken breasts
I’ve been craving fried chicken, but rather than make it at home and make a huge, fatty mess, I decided to try a more lean and (slightly) less messy baked alternative.
A couple notes about this recipe:
Panko breadcrumbs are something I try to keep in the pantry because I like their crunch factor, even when baked instead of fried. You can find them at almost any grocery store with other Asian food products.
I incorporated pecans into this recipe because I have a ton of them and am trying to find new ways to slowly pick away at them.
The chicken breasts I bought were huge, so in order to maximize my crust-to-chicken ratio, I opted to butterfly each piece. As a result, Chris and I will be eating this chicken for lunch all week, which is just fine by me.
I rounded out this meal with rice pilaf and some chard sautéed with three chopped, fried strips of turkey bacon and a couple shakes of red pepper flakes.
Panko pecan chicken
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
½ cup panko breadcrumbs (also known as Japanese breadcrumbs)
½ cup pecan pieces, ground
1/8 cup grated Parmesan
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk panko, pecans, Parmesan, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, salt and pepper together in a glass baking dish. Whisk egg and milk together in another glass baking dish. Dip each piece of chicken in egg and then dip in dry mix, making sure each side of each breast piece has a thin, even coating. Place chicken breast pieces on a baking rack set inside a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheets in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 15 minutes, testing thickest part of the meat to make sure it’s fully cooked.