This chicken is amazingly moist and baked to perfection. Nicely coated with a bit of crunch from panko crumbs and sweet almonds, which results in a burst of toasted flavor. Delectably chic with a spoon of pesto sauce drizzled over the top. Try it paired with my light and delightful pasta with lemon and parmesan. Click HERE for the recipe for the fabulous Lemon Pasta.
Honey Almond Crusted Chicken & Pesto Sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat (pound to even thickness if needed)
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. (3/4 cup) honey roasted almonds
4 Tbl. butter (1/2 stick)
1-2 medium shallots, minced
1 cup Panko bread crumbs (do not use regular bread crumbs, they will not produce the crispy crust desired)
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3 large eggs
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
1 cup flour
Place one rack in oven to lowest position, pre-heat oven to 350 oven degrees.
Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides with foil. Place a cooking/wire rack inside the pan.Rough chop the nuts In a fry pan, melt butter over medium-high heat swirling the pan, cook until the butter turns brown, but do not burn it.
When it is brown, add in the shallot and cook until it is brown. Again, do not burn.Turn the heat down to medium-low and add in the panko crumbs and the chopped nuts. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Zest the lemon by grating it on a fine grater, careful not to grate into the white pith, or it will be bitter instead of just flavorful.
Transfer the panko-nut mixture to a plate or shallow bowl. Add in the lemon zest and thyme; mix thoroughly.
In a second shallow bowl beat well the eggs, mustard, hot sauce and steak seasoning.
Put the flour in a third separate shallow bowl or plate.
To each chicken breast, poke 4-5 times with a fork and pat dry with paper towels.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge the breast first in flour, shaking off excess.Dip the chicken breast in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off.
Set the chicken in the panko-nut mixture. Roll the chicken in the panko-nut mixture to cover all sides of the chicken and press gently to adhere crumbs.Set the crumb crusted chicken on the wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes, or until interior temperature is 160 degrees, and juices run clear.When cooked through, allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve alone or with Pesto Sauce.
Carrie Groneman’s recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
1 package Knorr Pesto Sauce Mix (0.5 oz.)
1 1/4 cup half and halfDirections:
In a small saucepan, whisk together the Knorr Pesto Sauce Mix and the half and half.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes, until thick.
Carrie Groneman’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
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