Friday, February 24, 2012

Fast Friday: Walnut rosemary chicken

Have I ever mentioned how I love being off work on Fridays?  I think I have once or twice.  I had such grand plans for today: wake up early, go to hot yoga, run errands, clean like crazy, and all before 4.

Of said grand plans, guess what I've accomplished?  One load of laundry, turning the oven to "self clean,"  and sleeping in almost 3 hours past my normal wake-up time.  At least the latter impressed my potential hot yoga buddy  -- she's a gem (and a newly-engaged one at that!).

Also slightly impressive was the next great chicken recipe that I discovered this week.  Matt and I picked up a lot of chicken last weekend at Costco.  A lot meaning enough to feed a small army/the Jolie-Pitt family (it is Oscars weekend, after all) for a while.  Intent upon not driving us into a chicken rut for the next few weeks, I did a little scouring of the interwebs for inspiration.

Chicken is one of the greatest culinary canvases, and this particular piece is one of the many reasons why.  All of the ingredients are common pantry staples and combine for a breading so packed with flavor that you won't be missing a trip to the deep fryer one tiny ounce.  Get yourself ready for walnut rosemary chicken!

Crunchy, nutty, fragrant, cheesy!  So many words to describe such a humble breading that took about 30 seconds to throw together.  I liked this breading so much that I'm going to try it for homemade chicken nuggets later.

Baking the chicken on a wire rack over the baking sheet was totally critical to get that super crunchy texture on the outside.

The walnuts were toasted, the corn flakes crunchy, the cheese salty and married to the chicken... yum!  Quick and easy, fast and breezy (Monica Gellar and the answering machine, anyone?), perfect for a hassle-free dinner.

Happy weekending, friends!  Oscars recap next week :)

One year ago: Peanut butter cup crunch brownies
Two years ago: Pear spice muffins

Walnut and Rosemary Chicken
(adapted slightly from Cooking Light)
-serves 4

1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 (6-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/3 cup crushed corn flakes
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.  Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat. Combine crushed corn flakes, nuts, cheese, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.  Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in dry mixture.

Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray.  Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at for 15 to 20 minutes  minutes or until chicken is done.

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