Monday, May 3, 2010

Maple Walnut Chicken: plate-scraping good

Forget licking the fingers, this one had my kids literally scraping their plates with their forks and asking for more, which is scary because kids don't normally do that unless the food in question is full of sodium, fat, sugar, or all of the above.
For me, it all started with panko flakes. If you've never heard of them, check out the breadcrumb section at the grocery store. That's where they live, those japanese-style breadcrumbs. They are pointy and apparently not made from the crusts of bread, just the insides, and the texture is totally different and delicious. You can panko bread just about anything, and just about anything will taste better.

Maple Walnut Chicken
(recipe adapted from Betty Crocker)

4 chicken breasts, sliced in half so that their flat (or you can pound them if you've got pent up frustrations)
1/2 cup maple syrup (fake stuff is just fine)
2 Tbl mayo
1 Tbl dijon mustard
3/4 cup panko flakes
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Materials needed: 2 shallow dishes, baking sheet covered in foil and sprayed with non-stick spray because this stuff is a bugger to clean

Preheat oven to 400.
In shallow dish one, combine maple syrup and mayo. Dish two is for the panko flakes and the walnuts.
MAKE SURE YOUR CHICKEN IS DRY. This will help immensely!
Dredge chicken in the syrup mixture, and then plop it into the panko/nut mix, patting it down and making sure the chicky is loaded with the good stuff. Place directly on sprayed foil baking sheet.
Bake chicken for 15-20 minutes. You are supposed to flip them once, but honestly if you do, the crumbs will not be as crispy and delicious. Resist the urge and check to make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through.

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