Pistachio Encrusted Chicken with Strawberry Cucumber Salsa

This is a simple way to turn a chicken breast into a tender treat. Like it's poor cousin, the McNugget, these medallions are addictive. Make them smaller for a snack, or as medallions as a main dish. I usually make a double batch of the pistachio mixture and keep what I don’t use in the freezer. Make sure you follow the directions on working in batches. That procedure will keep you from contaminating the “breading” so you’ll only use what you need.

The salsa is a perfect companion to chicken. It's has sweetness, crunch, heat, and tang. It's one of the first recipes I pull out when the strawberries show up at the Farmer's Market! It also is great with fish!

Buon Appetito!

Yield: 4

Pistachio Encrusted Chicken Breasts

prep time: 15 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 30 mins

This is a simple way to turn a chicken breast into a tender treat. Like it's poor cousin, the McNugget, they are addictive. Make them smaller for a snack, or as medallions as a main dish. I love to serve them with a strawberry or mango salsa.

ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, roughly 8 ounces each
  • 2 cups pistachio meats, unsalted
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons water

instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Spray a baking sheet with canola non-stick spray.
  2. Split a gallon zip lock bag down the sides. Place on a work surface and place one chicken breasts in the now open bag. 
  3. Using a meat mallet, pound the breasts evenly to 1/4-inch thick.  (Be careful, it is easy to tear the chicken).
  4. Cut the pounded chicken into medallions.  Repreat the process with the other breast.  DRY THE CHICKEN THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS!
  5. Grind pistachios in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until fine.  Add in paprika and salt and pulse to combine.  Remove to a bowl. 
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg with water.  Coat the bottom of a shallow plate or pie plate with some of the pistachio mixture.
  7. Working in batches, and adding more pistachio mixture as you need it, dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture and dredge on both sides with pistachios, pressing to help them adhere.  Place, side by side, on the prepared sheet pan.  Coat each with canola cooking spray.  
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Medallions should be sizzling and cooked through.
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Yield: 4

Strawberry Cucumber Salsa

prep time: 10 minscook time: total time: 10 mins

This is a perfect companion to chicken. It's has sweetness, crunch, heat, and tang. It's one of the first recipes I pull out when the strawberries show up at the Farmer's Market!

ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • kosher salt to taste

instructions:

  1. Mix strawberries, cucumber, onion, jalapeño, and mint in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix olive oil, lime juice, and sugar together in a small bowl.  Toss with the strawberry mixture.  Add salt to taste.  Chill and serve.  
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