Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pistachio Crusted Chicken with Herb & Mustard Cream Sauce

Don't you just love those dishes that sound (and look) fancy but are actually really easy to execute? Well, this is one of them. It does require some prep but if you can chop, stir, smear and dip - you can do this recipe easy-peasy. I have to admit the pistachio flavour doesn't come through really strongly, but I don't mind - it provides a nice crunch. If you wanted, just go for bread crumbs and drop the nuts, that'd be aiiiiight. Here goes:

Ingredients for chicken:

  • 1 cup shelled raw pistachios (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • roughly 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Ingredients for cream sauce:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste

Make the chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Finely grind nuts in processor (or use your slap chop if you have one!). Add panko and blend, using on/off turns. Transfer to shallow baking dish.
  2. Mix mustard, basil, dill and rosemary in medium bowl. Spread mustard mixture over both sides of each chicken breast.
  3. Dip chicken breasts into nut mixture, coating completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side (cook in batches if the chicken is crowded in your skillet).
  5. Transfer chicken to baking sheet (or cook in the skillet, if it's oven-safe). Bake chicken until cooked through, about 7 minutes.

Make the sauce:

  1. Boil white wine and shallots in heavy medium saucepan over high heat until liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add whipping cream and simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add Dijon mustard, basil and dill. Simmer 2 minutes to blend flavors. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper

When the chicken is done, spoon cream sauce over chicken and serve right away! I paired mine with green beans with almonds and pancetta, but some roast potatoes or broccoli would work well, too. Enjoy!

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