Staying with chicken, this is a pretty nifty dish. We liked this meal a lot.
Given we don’t eat a lot of red meat, we eat a lot of chicken and seafood. You have to have variety in your life, right? Now, one of my favorite things is fried chicken. I love fried chicken. In fact, who doesn’t like fried chicken? It’s always moist, flavorful with the nice crunchy crust and skin. There really isn’t anything much better than fried chicken. It’s almost Nirvana.
My love for fried chicken goes back to my childhood. When I was a small boy, a toddler, we had a nanny (Annie Mae) who I loved very dearly and who very much loved me. She fixed the very best fried chicken and apple pie. It was my favorite meal when she fixed it and she knew it. She stopped working for my folks when I was probably 6 or so. I had not seen her since that time except when she passed me on her way to work. She would always smile and wave at me as I was walking or riding my bike to wherever. She did see my folks periodically, however, as my dad was her family physician. Nevertheless, on my 16th Birthday, unexpectedly and unannounced, she showed up at our house and fixed me her Fried Chicken and Apple Pie for my birthday meal. It was wonderful and something I will never forget. To this day I am still blown away by her, that she remembered my birthday after all of those years and that when she got off work she came to our house to fix me my favorite meal. I was very blessed to have her in my life. Sadly, I was too busy playing to ever learn how she made her chicken and memories of her fabulous fried chicken is all I have. Ah, but I digress.
Like many really wonderful foods, fried chicken isn’t really in our diet despite how much I love it. It’s loaded with calories, carbs and fats. I think that’s why it’s so good. So, when we want chicken with a little crunch, we try to do things a little differently and a little healthier. First, we minimize the fat. Next, instead of all-purpose flour, we use cornstarch or rice flour. This will actually give you a crispier crust. We also like to use nuts. Pistachio nuts are one of my favorites but we also like pecans, a lot. So, as we were pondering dinner one evening, we decided to do this wonderful pecan crusted chicken. It’s not fried chicken and definitely not Annie Mae’s fried chicken but it will suffice in a pinch. We also had a wonderful recipe for a mustard horseradish sauce we felt would go admirably with the chicken. It did. So, we thought we would share and this is what we did.
For the Chicken
- 1-1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp parsley, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 6 chicken thighs
- 4 Tbsp oil
For the Horseradish Sauce
- 3.0 cups mayonnaise
- 6 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 4 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
- 2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
- 8 Tbsp sour cream
- Kosher salt
For the Horseradish Sauce
Put the mayonnaise into a mixing bowl and add the sour cream
Add the dijon mustard
the whole-grain mustard
and a pinch of salt.
Mix together to combine.
Set aside until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.
For the Chicken
Add the thyme, cornstarch
cayenne pepper, dry mustard
and parsley to a small baking dish.
Mix all ingredients together. Now, get another small bowl/baking dish and add the egg
and dijon mustard
Dredge the chicken in the egg wash
then in the dry ingredients patting the chicken thighs to form a nice crust and adhere the dry ingredients to the chicken.
Pour the oil in large, heavy bottom skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat and add chicken to skillet.
Cook over medium high heat for 3 – 4 minutes until the pecan crust begins to turn golden brown. Then turn the chicken to the other side.
Cook an additional 2 minutes and then move chicken to a 350 F oven.
Cook in the oven an additional 17 minutes or until done (an instant read thermometer registers 160 – 165 F).
Remove from the oven and place 2 chicken thighs on each plate
Spoon a little of the mustard sauce over the top