Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Easy Pecan Chicken

Recipe updated June 2015

When I use boneless chicken thighs, it’s usually to cut them into small pieces for stir-fries, tacos, soups, or pasta dishes. The dark meat is tender and juicy and stays that way after cooking. For this recipe, I wanted larger pieces for a flavorful, nutty coating while keeping the juiciness of thigh meat.

Large, whole thighs are a bit unwieldy because of their length once the bone is removed. I’ve found that cutting them in half makes easier pieces for cooking—and four thighs serve four people, two pieces each.  

Cut the Thighs in Half
The breading here doesn’t result in a crispy, crunchy finish, even with the addition of panko breadcrumbs. There is a little crispiness, but the highlight of this dish is the pleasant nutty flavor of the coating and tender chicken—no sauce required.

Tip: When you place the pecans in the food processor, use short pulses to grind them. This allows you to control the amount of grinding and, therefore, the finished texture. You want tiny crumbles of nuts—not powder. Or pecan butter!

Serves 4

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped or broken pecans
  • 1/2 cup panko (or other fine, dry breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lbs), trimmed and cut crosswise in half 
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
Prepared Thighs
  1. Place the pecans in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (but not powdery). Add the panko and dried oregano and season with salt and pepper. Pulse 2 to 3 times to combine. Spread the mixture in a large baking dish.
Pecan Pieces Ready to Grind 
Ground Pecans
Pecan-Panko Mixture 
Spread the Pecan Mixture in a Baking Dish
  1. Dip each chicken piece in the egg, letting excess drip off. Press each piece into the pecan mixture, turning to coat both sides. Place the thighs in a single layer on a plate and refrigerate 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a large, preferably cast-iron, skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the chicken until golden brown on the bottom, 6-7 minutes.
  3. Turn the chicken and cook until golden brown on the second side and just cooked through, 6-7 minutes longer.
Coated Chicken
Chicken Beginning to Cook
Cooked Chicken
Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest 3-4 minutes before serving.

Pan-Cooked Pecan Chicken

No comments:

Post a Comment