Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pistachio Encrusted Chicken

Everyone is back from Paris, Pittsburgh and Minnesota (some destinations were more glamorous than others!) and it was my turn to cook last night. I made a house favorite, Pistachio Encrusted Chicken.

My kids LOVE this dish!

One of my favorite things to do is to replicate dishes I first enjoyed in a restaurant. I jot down the ingredients from the menu and if I am unsure of something, I ask the server…every now and again you can weasel information from them!

BUT, like a good reporter, I never reveal my sources, so rest easy my aproned friends!

This particular chicken dish is coated with pistachios and topped with caramelized onions and apples and the most velvety and luscious black cherry sauce. That sauce is my nemesis…I am getting close, but I still have not gotten it just right. It all starts with a proper roux, then adding chicken stock and black cherry jelly to achieve just the right consistency, flavor and color. I include the recipe for the sauce on the Recipes tab.

A word about pistachios… not only are they tasty, but they are an excellent source of nutrition as well. Pistachios offer high levels of a plant sterol, phytosterol, shown to reduce cholesterol absorption, lots of vitamin B6, antioxidants, lutein, potassium and dietary fiber. That’s a lot of good stuff packed into one pretty, little nut!

Not me, the pistachio.

Pistachio Encrusted Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Apples and Black Cherry Sauce

Caramelize thinly-sliced onions by sautéing them in two tablespoons each of melted butter and olive oil. When the onions are a nice caramel color, add the apples and sauté until they are caramelized. Set aside.

Fill a bowl with 1 ½ cups of finely ground pistachios and add 1 cup of panko bread crumbs. Mix them up. Add one cup of milk to another bowl. Cut 4 boneless chicken breasts in half and dip each half into the milk, then the pistachio mixture.

Add ½ cup of canola oil to a pan and when hot, pan fry each breast until golden. Do not cook through.

Preheat the oven to 350° and bake the chicken for 35 minutes or until cooked through. Each will be a yummy toasted color.

Serve by placing these crusted beauties on a gorgeous platter, top with the caramelized onions, apples and the black cherry sauce. So incredibly delicious and a little bit fancy!

We also had a salad of field greens, macadamia nuts, and oranges served in the lovely traveling salad bowl and macaroons from France for dessert (that, BTW, came in the prettiest little orange box). We polished off two bottles of wine, including a wonderful red from France, Chateau de Ruth, Cotes Du Rhone.

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