Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Recipe #21: Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Breasts with a Cheddar-Mustard Sauce

Here's a Rachael Ray recipe for chicken fans! This comes from her 365: No Repeats cook book. The chicken turns out super moist, and the pickle garnish on top really adds to the overall dish. Definitely a keeper.


4 medium (quart size) plastic food storage bags
4 6-8oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 5-oz bag of salted pretzels, any shape (I just kind of eyeballed the amt from a larger bag)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (I got a bag of shredded sharp Cheddar)
2 heaping tablespoons spicy brown mustard
Coarse salt
1/4c fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (I used dried parsley)
1/4 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large sour dill pickle, finely chopped (I used Klaussen, from the lunch meat section)
1 lemon, cut into wedges (I omitted this)


Sprinkle a little water into the food storage baggies. Place 1 chicken breast in each bag and seal it up, pushing out excess air. Use a mallet or the bottom of a heavy pot or pan and pound each breast until flat, just shy of busting out the bag. Repeat with the other 3 chicken breasts.

Place the pretzels in a food processor or blender and grind until fine. Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish and add the thyme and some pepper. Crack and beat 2 eggs in a second shallow dish with a splash of water. Working with 1 pounded chicken breast at a time, coat the breast in the ground pretzels, then in the eggs, then in the pretzels again. Preheat a large skillet with 1/4 inch of vegetable oil; add the pretzel-coated chicken breasts to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until the cutlets' juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned.

While the chicken is frying, in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour to it. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheese and mustard with a wooden spoon. Season with a little salt (if you use unsalted butter only!!) and pepper and remove the cheese sauce from the heat.

Transfer the fried pretzel-crusted chicken breasts to serving plates, drizzle with the cheddar-mustard sauce, and then sprinkle with a little parsley, finely chopped onions, and finely chopped pickles. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges alongside.

Check out that texture! I served this with some quick-cook jasmine rice so I could make more use of the cheese sauce.

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