Friday, April 20, 2012

Nut Crusted Chicken

* 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
* Kosher salt
* 1 cup peanuts
* 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
* 1 medium shallot, minced (or about 3 tbs of onion if that is what you have on hand)
* 1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
* 2 tsp finely grated lime zest
* 1 tsp chile powder
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp ground coriander
* 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
* 3 large eggs
* 2 tsp Dijon mustard
* ¼ tsp ground black pepper
* 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°.
2. Poke thickest half of each breast 5-6 times with a fork, Sprinkle evenly with ½ tsp kosher salt.  Refrigerate while preparing coating.
3. Process nuts in food processor until they resemble coarse meal.
4. Heat butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat; cook 4-5 minutes, swirling pan constantly, until butter turns golden brown.
5. Add shallot (or onion) and ½ tsp kosher salt. Cook stirring constantly until just starting to brown (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low, add panko and ground nuts. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown.
6. Transfer panko mixture to pie plate and stir in lime zest, chile powder, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper.
7. Lightly beat eggs, mustard, and black pepper together in second pie plate. Put flour in third plate.
8. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Dredge chicken breast in flour (one at a time), shaking off excess, coat with egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat all sides of chicken with panko mixture, pressing gently so crumbs stick.
9. Transfer breaded chicken to a prepared wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until the juices run clear.

You will be amazed at how well the coating sticks to the chicken, and how crispy this gets in the oven.  The recipe may seem like there is a lot going on between the spices, mustard, butter and so forth, but it is worth it, and turns out delicious!!!  Way to go Cook's Illustrated!!!

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