22 June 2009

Pecan Chicken

Pecan chicken is a classic Southern dish traditionally made with bone-in, skin-on chicken. Like fried chicken, but with a pecan (pronounced pee-can in the South) crust. This recipe is a healthier version I found in one of my favorite cookbooks and then made even healthier.

You will need:

2 pie plates
9x13 baking dish
3T butter (Smart Balance)
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup ground pecans
1 T paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Clean your chicken and cut the breasts into 3 pieces each, about the size of chicken tenders. You can leave them whole, but the smaller pieces have more coating, so more flavor, and they cook faster. Kids love anything that resembles a chicken tender.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. I covered my glass baking dish with foil for easy clean-up. Cut up the 3T of butter and put them in your baking dish, then place the dish into the oven while it preheats.

Mix the pecans, flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in one of the pie plates.

In the second pie plate, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Line up your dishes starting with the buttermilk mixture, then flour, then melted butter in the baking dish.

Dredge each piece on chicken in the buttermilk mixture, coating it thoroughly.

Then evenly coat each buttermilk covered piece in the pecan mixture.

Place each piece in the dish with melted butter, then flip over so that it is buttered on each side.

Mmmmm. Buttermilk, pecans...two of my favorite words. I'm getting hungry!

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. The coating will brown up nicely.

This chicken is amazing hot from the oven. I served it with some saffron rice and homemade whole wheat rolls (recipe to come). But, my favorite way to eat this chicken is cold from the fridge, cut up on a salad. Hot or cold it's super delicious and almost guilt-free. Enjoy!

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