Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pretzel Chicken

I have had a real thing for pretzels lately. Ever scince I tried this recipe for Chocolate Chunk Pretzel Cookies from The Naptime Chef. I discovered and was impressed by the way that pretzels could hold their crispy texture after being baked in a cookie (even after a few days). So I started to think about what else I could do with a pretzel, and I came up with this recipe for pretzel chicken.

And what goes beautifully with savory pretzels? Mustard of course. But I wanted something a little more tame than just putting straight mustard on my chicken, so I created this sauce with sour cream, a little mayo and just a touch of sugar to smooth the whole thing out. And let me just say, if you are a mustard lover like myself, this sauce is BONKERS!

All that was needed to make this a complete meal was some simply cooked green beans and it was good to go. And just a little side note, the mustard sauce is amazing with the green beans too.

Pretzel Chicken
~serves 4~

For the mustard sauce
1/3 c. lowfat sour cream
2 T. spicy brown mustard
1 T. mayonnaise
1/2 t. sugar
For the chicken and green beans
4 chicken cutlets, or 4 small chicken breasts
6 oz. pretzels (I used regular standard size twists)
1 T. canola oil
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. onion powder
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 lb green beans, trimmed
cooking spray 
salt and pepper
minced fresh chives (optional)

1. Make the mustard sauce. Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. Refrigerate while preparing the chicken and green beans.

2. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees with the oven rack in the middle position. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place over a large, rimmed baking sheet.

3. In a food processor, grind the pretzels until coarsely ground. About 12-14 pulses. (Some of the pretzels will be finely ground, the larger pieces should be about the size of lentils.) In one of three shallow dishes (pie plates work well), add the pretzel crumbs along with the canola oil, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix well. 

4. In the second shallow dish, mix together the egg whites and 1 T. mustard. In the third shallow dish place the flour.

5. Meanwhile,cook the green beans. In a large pan, bring 6 c. of water to a boil. Add 2 t. salt and green beans. Cover and cook for 5 minutes (or until desired doneness). Drain and toss with a little olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

6. Pat the chicken dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken cutlet in the flour and tap off the excess. Using tongs, dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture and transfer to the pretzel crumb mixture. Coat each piece of chicken well, pressing on the pretzel crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the prepared wire rack. Spray each piece of chicken lightly with cooking spray. 

7. Bake the chicken until cooked through, (160-165 degrees) about 15 minutes. Serve chicken and green beans with the mustard sauce. Garnish with fresh chives, if desired. 


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