Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Breasts

with a Cheddar-Mustard Sauce

From Rachael Ray: 365 No Repeats

4 medium plastic food storage bags
4 small whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 5oz bag of salted pretzels
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
fresh ground black pepper
2 eggs
vegetable oil, for frying
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 C milk
2 C grated sharp yellow Cheddar cheese
1 C grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
2 heaping tablespoons spicy brown mustard,
coarse salt
1/4 C fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large sour dill pickle, finely chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Sprinkle a little water into the storage bags. Place 1 chicken breast in each bag and seal it up, pushing out excess air. Use a mallet or bottom of a heavy pot or pan and pound each breast flat, just shy of busting out of the bag. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Place the pretzels in a food processor or blender and grind until fine. Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish and add the thyme and some pepper. Crack and beat 2 eggs in a second shallow dish with a splash of water. Working with 1 pounded chicken breast at a time, coat the breast in the ground pretzels, then in the eggs, then in the pretzels again. Preheat a large skillet with 1/4 inch vegetable oil; add the pretzel-coated chicken breasts to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until the cutlets juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned.

While the chicken is frying, in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour to it. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheeses and mustard with a wooden spoon. Season with a little salt and pepper and remove the sauce from the heat.

Transfer the chicken to serving plates, drizzle with the sauce, then sprinkle with some parsley, finely chopped onions, and finely chopped pickles. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges alongside.

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