Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sesame Cracker Crusted, Spicy Baked Chicken

YUM!! The crispy crackers flavor the chicken with a tarragon flavor, and the dash for chili powder and cilantro gives this dish a freshness that will brighten up any boring weeknight meal!
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of Sesame Tarragon Crackers (I used Bake to Nature brand)
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder (I like spice, but you can adjust it per your taste)
1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro (that's what I had on hand, but you can use Parsley if you wish)
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 egg

For the salad
1/2 cup of fresh Pea Shoots
2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven at 475 degrees.

1.  In your food processor, blend together Sesame Tarragon Crackers, chili powder, cumin powder, garlic, fresh cilantro and salt and pepper, until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Set aside on a plate.

2. In another dish,  crack an egg and beat it well. In a third dish spread the all purpose flour. This makes your assembly line ready for coating your chicken breasts.

3. You want a nice even thickness on the chicken breast so it cooks evenly, so place the breast between a sheet of cling wrap and pound it out to desired thickness. Repeat with second piece of chicken.

4. In a hot, oven proof skillet, add some olive oil.
Now begin coating your chicken, starting with the flour first, then egg, then cracker mixture. Place the coated chicken breast in the skillet and put the skillet in the oven.

10 minutes into baking, turn the chicken breasts over so you get a crispy coating on both sides. The chicken will bake in the oven for a total of 15-20 minutes, until nice and crispy, golden and delicious!

I served my chicken breasts with a simple gravy made from vegetable stock (it's what I had in the pantry) and a salad of Pea shoots tossed lightly with some Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper.

For a fancier version of this dish, you can stuff the chicken breasts with goat cheese and apples or cranberries and then coat it with the mixture.

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