Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hot and Crunchy Chicken

I used to eat this chicken dish at a restaurant in Frederick called Jennifer's, they have since closed. My hubby and I were fairly regular diners there. We had many date nights there through the years. The Hot & Crunchy chicken was one of our favorites. Jennifer did not give me the recipe for it, but this is my version. I added more spice and crunch to it, by using Cayenne pepper and Panko bread crumbs. It is not over the top spicy because the sweetness of the honey mellows out the cayenne. I don't know what it is, but I love the combo of spicy and sweet together. So take the time to make this awesome chicken dish. I always get great feedback on this one.

Hot & Crunchy Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, 4 to 6 oz. each
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. plus ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ⅛ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • cooking spray
Trim all fat and cartilage from chicken and place inside a Ziploc bag. Place on top of cutting board and with a meat mallet, hammer breasts to about ¼ inch thickness. Set aside.

Place bread crumbs on a large flat plate. Then beat egg and milk in a small bowl. Rub ⅛ tsp. of cayenne pepper evenly on one side of chicken breast then flip over and do the same on the other side until all chicken breasts are coated with cayenne. Dredge chicken into egg, then press into bread crumbs.

Heat up a large 14 inch and a small 8 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to large skillet and spray small skillet with cooking spray. Add pecans to small skillet stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes to toast pecans. Add honey and ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper to toasted pecans, mix well. Turn off heat to pecans and set aside.

As soon as oil is hot in large skillet add chicken breasts one at a time. Cover with a splatter screen and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in center.

When chicken is ready, remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Then place chicken on plate and evenly divide honey pecan mixture over top of breasts. This sounds like a lot of cayenne but it really is not too spicy. Try serving this with Baby Red Mashed Potatoes withPearl Onions and a green vegetable. Serves 4. Enjoy!

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