Friday, April 15, 2011

Pecan-Panko Chicken

Some of my newer readers may not realize that I have meat issues! And more meat issues. Seriously. I can't touch raw meat. I cannot cut raw meat. I get completely skeeved out by fat & gristle. And to see a vein in there!!?? I have to put down my fork & just be done with dinner. I'd like to say I'm working on it but I'm not really sure that I am. I am, however, making small baby-step progress because I was able to pound this chicken! I winced & shuddered every step of the way, but I DID IT!! It was a good dinner. Not the prettiest presentation, but the taste was great!

You'll need:

Chicken breasts, Greek yogurt, chopped pecans, fresh flat-leaf/Italian parsley, Panko crumbs - if you can find the Italian seasoned ones (I know Progresso makes some) get those! I already had these plain ones so I just added some Italian seasoning. I wished I'd gotten the pre-seasoned crumbs. The flavor wasn't as intense as I would have hoped.

So now we're gonna pound out chicken. Why? Because a breast, as is, is thick on one side, thinner on the other & since we're frying these in a pan, the thin side would get overcooked/burned/dried out before the thicker side was even close to done. By pounding it flat, you're evening it out so it's a uniform thickness all the way across.

Put the breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap & start whacking it with a rolling pin (or a meat mallet if you've got one!) We're going for about 1/2" thick. Don't be afraid to give it a good smack - it's already dead, you're not gonna hurt it! LOL

Now grab a pie plate (or other shallow dish) and mix the crumbs, nuts & parsley.

And on another plate dump out your yogurt.

Dip the flattened breast in the Greek yogurt - be sure to get both sides. Use a pastry brush to spread it around if you need. This is a very healthy substitution to the usual butter or egg that people often use. See here for a shakedown on what is SO wonderful about Greek Yogurt!

Once it's coated in yogurt, dip it into the crumbs.

Give it a good press with your fingers to make sure the crumbs all stick on well.

Next step is to put the coated breast in a large pan with about 3 TBsp of olive oil heated to medium. Let it go maybe 10-12, flipping once. If you're doing more than 2 breasts you will need to work in batches. Don't crowd the pan!

Be sure to dump the crumbs between batches so you don't get super burned bits stuck to the next batch!

Serve it up with some good, fresh produce & enjoy!!


Pecan-Panko Chicken:

3-4 small chicken breasts (about 1 pound - if using bigger breasts just get more of the other ingredients)
1 6-oz container Plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup Italian Panko crumbs
1/2 cup diced pecans
2 TBSP fresh flat-leaf/Italian parsley, finely chopped
3 TBSP olive oil

Put each chicken breast between pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/2 inch thick.

In a pie pan or other shallow dish, mix crumbs, nuts & parsley. Pour the yogurt out onto a plate. Dip chicken into yogurt, then coat with crumb mixture.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Cook chicken in oil 10-12 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and coating is golden brown.

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