This is a Rachael Ray recipe that my kids love:
Pretzel Crusted Chicken
4 quart size plastic food storage bags (I use one large one.)
4 small, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 5-ounce bag of salted pretzels, any shape
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (I use dry thyme)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying (I use olive oil.)
Preheat a large non-stick skillet with a 1/4 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle a little water into four medium food storage baggies. Place 1 chicken breast in each bag and seal it up, pushing out excess air. Use the bottom of a heavy pot or pan and pound each breast until flat, just shy of bursting out of the bag. (My children love this part!) Repeat with the other 3 chicken breasts.
Place the pretzels in a food processor or blender and grind until fine. Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish, add the thyme and some salt and pepper. Crack and beat 2 eggs in a second shallow dish with a splash of water. One at a time, coat each chicken breast in the egg and then the ground pretzels. (Dispose of storage bags.)
Add the pretzel-coated chicken breasts to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear and breading is evenly browned. Serve with honey mustard or Mustard Cheddar Sauce below.
Mustard Cheddar Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
3/4 lb., about 2 1/2 cups, sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
2 heaping tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, a generous handful, chopped (optional garnish)
1/4 small yellow onion, finely chopped (optional garnish)
1 large sour dill pickle, finely chopped (optional garnish)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour to it. Cook flour and butter for 1 minute then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheese and mustard with a wooden spoon. Season with a little salt and pepper, and remove cheese sauce from the heat. Drizzle over pretzel crusted chicken and sprinkle with parsley, onion and pickle garnishes if desired.
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