Taste the Air-Chilled Difference®

Pecan Chicken

by , Chef, Turtle Restaurant, Brownwood, Texas

Pecan Chicken

Serves 4

Dredging chicken in chopped pecans brings a mellow, nutty flavor to the crunch you expect from dredged chicken. A sweet honey-caramel sauce takes this recipe over the top.

  • 2 boneless skinless Smart Chicken breasts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed
  • 4 ounces honey
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Set up a breading area: In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and pepper. Crack the eggs into another bowl and whisk with a little cold water to make an egg wash. Finely chop the pecans, but not so finely that they become a sandy texture, and mix with panko in the third bowl.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Peel the carrots and slice them on a mandolin or with a knife in ¼-inch slices. Dice potatoes into half-inch cubes. Blanch the carrots in the boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove to a plate. Blanch the potatoes for 7 to 10 minutes, then remove to a lightly oiled sheet pan.

Butterfly the chicken breasts: Lay each flat on the cutting board and, starting on the thickest side of the breast with your knife parallel to the cutting board, carefully slice through the chicken. Stop when your knife is about a ¼ inch from cutting all the way through. Open the breasts onto the cutting board and pound them out flat until about ? inch in thickness.

Dip the chicken cutlets into the egg wash, then dredge in flour, then dredge in panko-pecan mix, and transfer to a sheet pan. (This dredging process can be done a day ahead of time; store the coated chicken breasts divided by parchment paper in a sealed container in the refrigerator.)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spray or brush the potatoes with a little olive oil. Roast the potatoes in the 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat butter with a little olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until just before smoking. Sauté the carrots until blistered and slightly caramelized around the edges and set aside.

To the same sauté pan, add butter or oil and sauté the dredged chicken breasts until cooked through. Set aside.

To the same pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and the honey and cook over high heat until you have a nice but thin caramel. Be careful, as the sauce is very hot.

Transfer the carrots and potatoes to serving plates. Lay the pecan chicken cutlets on top of the vegetables, drizzle the honey-caramel sauce on top. Let the plates cool down a minute or two before you serve them.