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Pecan Crusted Chicken

November 24, 2009

by Emily

When I moved to Houston, my well-informed friends introduced me to the wonderful world of upscale comfort food.  Who knew that mashed potatoes would taste infinitely better with a touch of truffle oil?  Or the grits I grew up thinking were so bland, would morph into a new decadent three-cheese version?  Or that a boring chicken breast could taste so scrumptious crusted in pecans and pistachios?  Clearly, I had a lot of learning to do.  There is something to be said for recreating your favorite foods in a manageable way, which is why I was so glad to find Rachel Ray’s Pecan Crusted Chicken recipe.  If you haven’t had the luxury of trying Benjy’s crunchy chicken (which is 100% responsible for this recipe search), this is a great substitute to get you by until that fateful day.

Pecan Crusted Chicken
adapted from Rachel Ray’s Recipe

1 cup pecans, toasted (substitute or combine with pistachios for a slightly different flavor)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried basil
4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup honey mustard (you may prefer to use olive oil if using pistachios)

Preheat the oven to 400°.
Grind the pecans (and/or pistachios, if using) into fine crumbs in a good processor (a blender works, too!).  Transfer to a wide, shallow bowl and stir in the bread crumbs and basil. Add salt and pepper.  Place honey mustard in another shallow bowl.  Rub each chicken breast with honey mustard, then dredge through pecan mixture.  Place on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes.  The chicken is ready when the juices run clear.

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