Monday, April 7, 2014
Chicken Strips: A New Twist on a Standby
I'm going to start this week off with a recipe that tends to please both kids and adults. We all like chicken strips. What's not to like? They're crispy, flavorful and remind me a little of the guilty pleasure of french fries. This recipe is a bit of a new twist on the classic, incorporating sesame seeds and pecans into the coating.
I love the crunch and flavor the pecans give these chicken strips and don't skip the dipping sauce, it's addictive! If you don't want to cook these in oil on top of the stove, just heat the oven to 400 degrees and lay them out on a wire cooling rack, then place the rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet. Mist lightly with nonstick cooking spray (this will help them brown and crisp up) and bake until done (about 20 minutes or so).
Sesame Pecan Chicken Strips
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup peach preserves
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt & pepper
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup pecans (chopped finely or use a food processor)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup canola oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" wide strips
Whisk the mustard, peach preserves, thyme, 1 tbsp. water and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside to use as a dipping sauce once the chicken is cooked.
Beat the egg whites in a bowl until frothy, then mix together the Panko, pecans, sesame seeds and paprika in a separate bowl.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (I use my cast iron skillet for recipes like this), then season the chicken strips on both sides with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the egg whites, then roll them in the Panko mixture, pressing lightly to make sure the mixture adheres to the chicken.
Work in batches and cook the chicken until golden brown. Usually 2-3 minutes per side. Drain the chicken on a wire cooling rack set over paper towels and serve with the sauce.
I like to serve these up with a side of sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli.
*Adapted from Food Network Magazine