Monday, June 15, 2009

What's Cookin-Spicy Pecan Crusted Chicken

This recipe comes from In case you haven't noticed I'm am back on my diet and searching for light and healthy recipes that don't sacrifice flavor in the process. I like this one because it is a fulfilling new way to prepare an otherwise flavor neutral chicken breast. The pecans add both crunch and a nutty earthiness while the orange zest and chipotle add a kick. This recipe is easy to prepare and keeps well as leftovers to top a salad with later in the week. Give it a shot and make a couple of extra breast as low fat protein to snack on later.

Add try adding a fresh spinach salad with a hand full of dried cranberries as a side.

The end of the recipe lists all of the nutritional information for those of you who might be counting calories with me! This recipes pack a ton of flavor for 280 cals.

Source:, June 2009.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1-1 ¼ pounds), trimmed (see Tip) ½ cup pecan halves or pieces¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated orange zest½ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (see Note)1 large egg white2 tablespoons water1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
Pecan-Crusted Chicken Instructions
1. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even 1/4-inch thickness.2. Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture.3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.
Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tips
Tip: It can be hard to find individual chicken breasts small enough for our recommended 4-ounce (uncooked) portion size. If yours are closer to 5 ounces each, remove the tender (about 1 ounce) from the underside to get the correct portion size. Wrap and freeze the leftover tenders; when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry, for chicken fingers or in soups.Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeƱo peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 281 calories; 15 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 29 g protein; 2 g fiber; 430 mg sodium; 376 mg potassium.Nutrition bonus: Selenium (34% daily value), good source of omega-3s.1/2 Carbohydrate ServingExchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 lean meat, 1/2 fat