……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Pecan-crusted chicken with fresh raspberry sauce June 19, 2012

Filed under: Dinner — krandle @ 6:02 pm
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Sometimes, it’s hard for me to want to take the time to make chicken taste good. It’s so easy to just toss it in the oven with a spice rub or throw it in the crockpot with some sauces or vegetables – and then have everything taste good – that I’m sometimes not very motivated to put any time into poultry.

This recipe, however, is worth the effort. I think it’s perfect dinner party food – and the sauce adds a color that you probably wouldn’t otherwise have on your plate (FUSCHIA!), unless you were serving beets.

It’s really moist, while also staying a little bit crunchy. It tastes fresh so is great for spring/summer. And, it doesn’t take very long or require too much attention, making it easy to serve while people are over. I’m already planning to serve this at my next dinner event.

Pecan-crusted chicken with fresh raspberry sauce – modified from B.A.

Raspberry Sauce
– Note: this makes about twice as much sauce as you need for this amount of chicken; it makes a great salad dressing, though, so don’t worry about cutting it in half

3/4 cup lightly packed fresh raspberries (about 3 1/2 ounces)
3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup safflower oil (works fine with vegetable oil too)
3 to 6 tsp. water (optional)


1 cup chopped pecans (about 4 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or plain dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
3 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup honey mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves, butterflied
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 Tbs. peanut oil
4 cups baby salad greens (baby spinach is great here)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

For Raspberry Sauce

Puree raspberries, white wine vinegar, and sugar in blender until smooth. With blender running, gradually add safflower oil. Add water by teaspoonfuls as needed to thin to desired consistency. Season raspberry sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

For Chicken

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix pecans, panko and 2 teaspoons pepper on a plate with a lip, or in a shallow dish.

In a bowl, mix honey mustard, mint leaves, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken; coat and let excess drip off. Place chicken into crumb-nut mixture, coating both sides and pressing to adhere. To make things easy, don’t coat until you’re ready to put chicken directly into the skillets. And, when you have extra crumb-nut mixture left, put it into the skillet alongside the chicken, roasting it as well, then serving alongside the chicken for extra crunch.

Divide equal amounts of butter and oil between 2 large nonstick skillets; heat over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken pieces to each skillet; reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is light brown, about 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on rimmed baking sheet; transfer to oven. Roast chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Plate using salad greens first, then topping top with chicken. Drizzle sauce on top, and garnish with fresh raspberries.


Apricot Chicken June 23, 2011

Filed under: Dinner — krandle @ 9:23 pm
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If you couldn’t tell yet, I adore trying new recipes. Each one feels like a challenge or a puzzle that I have to finagle to get is just the way I want it. As a result, there aren’t too many recipes that I repeat very often, that is, unless you count my “recipe” for leftovers, which includes making burritos out of everything.

This apricot chicken is one of the few recipes that I go back to time and time again. To me, it has a great blend of sweet with a little hint of spicy – and it’s almost universally liked. Also, it’s great to use when I “grill” (the broiler and the Foreman count since I don’t have a barbecue) or roast chicken. I also have a deep affection for apricots, so that basically works out perfectly. I also think this is marvelous because all of these ingredients are always in my pantry.

Apricot Chicken (most recently served with ginger rice as part of a little dinner party)

Chicken (about 1/2 lb) – any type works, though with boneless skinless breasts cut into 1-in cubes, your meat gets at lot more apricot-y
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1.5 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. melted butter

Combine all sauce ingredients and spread over chicken. Basting with remaining sauce part of the way through cooking helps everything stay moist. I like to make a bit extra to serve with the chicken after it’s cooked [food safety psa: if you want to serve the apricot sauce with the cooked chicken, you need to make it separately from the sauce you’re using to baste the chicken so none of the poisonous raw chicken-ness gets in there].  I also use this to marinate chicken in before cooking it. Basically, it’s just a wonderful, all-purpose glaze/sauce/whathaveyou. It’s only downfall is that when it cooks on a surface that isn’t chicken, it crystallizes and burns since it has sugar in it, so the dishes in the end are rather miserable.