I have been playing around with the coating I use to bread my chicken breasts and have found the type of coating you use really does make a difference. I now either use my own homemade breadcrumbs or Panko bread crumbs, and I recently discovered the joys of combining nuts with my breadcrumbs as well for both added flavor and crunch.
For this version, I used almonds, combined with Panko breadcrumbs and some of my favorite seasonings, and after baking the breasts I topped them with a creamy mustard sauce. Panko are simply Japanese breadcrumbs and have an extra crunch to them which works great in breaded toppings, and if I do not have my own homemade breadcrumbs on hand for me they are the next best thing. You can play around with the sauce if you like, using different types of mustard, or even a combination of grainy mustard and Dijon. Also feel free to add extra cream if you want more of a subtle mustard flavor, or add additional mustard if you want more of a zesty kick to your sauce. I kept my sauce simple and chose to use just Dijon mustard for the chicken in the photos flavored first with some shallots and garlic. When preparing chicken breasts as I do in this recipe, I often slice them into two lengthwise creating two thinner cutlets out of each breast.
Deborah Mele 2012
- 4 (6 Ounce) Chicken Breasts, Skinned, Trimmed, & Cut Into Two Thin Cutlets Lengthwise
- 1/2 Cup Almonds
- 1 Cup Homemade Breadcrumbs or Panko Breadcrumbs
- Zest From 1 Lemon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour Lightly Seasoned With Salt & Pepper
- 2 Large Eggs
- Olive OIl Spray
For The Sauce:
- 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Shallots
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
- 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- Salt & Pepper
- Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse.
- Mix together the almonds, breadcrumbs, oregano, lemon zest, and salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
- Beat the eggs in another shallow bowl with two teaspoons of cream.
- Place the seasoned flour mixture into a plastic bag, and then coat the chicken pieces first by dredging them in the seasoned flour, then coating them with the egg wash, and finally coating with the crumb nut mixture, pressing the crumbs to help them adhere.
- Coat each of the chicken pieces in the same fashion, placing them on a tray and then in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and generously spray a large baking sheet with olive oil spray.
- Lay the chicken pieces side by side on the tray, and then generously spray the tops of each with more spray.
- Bake the chicken for 10 minutes then carefully turn, and cook another 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
- While the chicken is baking make the sauce by first heating the butter in a small saucepan and then cooking the shallots until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, and then add the chicken broth.
- Cook until the broth has reduced by half, then add the mustard and cream.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium low heat until thickened.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings, cream, or mustard as needed, then keep warm over very low heat.
- Arrange the baked chicken pieces on a tray, and spoon the sauce over top before serving.