This recipe delivers the crunch of fried chicken with a fraction of the oil and mess. Chicken breasts are breaded, browned on one side and then popped in the oven.
The outer coating can be bread crumbs (fresh or dried), cornmeal or cracker crumbs. If starting with fresh bread, dry it first in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Better yet, stash stale bread in a plastic bag in the freezer, then turn it into crumbs as needed.
The chicken is first dipped in flour so the egg mixture will adhere and then in the egg to help the breading stick. Beat the egg with oil and salt to make a homogeneous mixture.
Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breasts
2 slices white or whole wheat bread, dried
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), pounded 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon canola oil
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse the bread, nuts, cheese and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor until fine bread crumbs form. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Place flour in a second shallow bowl and the egg in a third. Beat the egg with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt until frothy.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip each breast into flour, then into egg mixture, letting excess drip off, and then into crumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick, oven-proof skillet. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, 1 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn chicken over and put skillet in oven. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with lemon slices. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 326 calories, 16.8 grams fat, 22.5 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 1.6 grams fiber, 204.4 milligrams sodium.