Monday, March 21, 2016

DIY Dinner (With Cracked Nuts and Bourbon)

Looking for a fun to make but impressively delicious dinner, that is actually VERY easy to prepare?

How about pecan crusted chicken?  If you can answer a few questions you can easily make it.

First - if you were so inclined, put some dough for the homemade whole wheat and honey bread in a bowl to rise (or grab a loaf from your bakery)
Then distract your pets with a new toy.  Pictured - a Squeaky set of tighty whities, a gift from one of our friends for Abby.

Now for our questions.

Can you operate a nut cracker? (This one was a gift from the in-laws).  If that's a no, you can buy some pecans already shelled.
Partner in Grime demonstrates with a walnut

Can you melt some butter in the microwave and add a splash of maple syrup and bourbon to it? If that's a no - head to McDonalds right now, there is no hope for you.
With the kitchen remodel in place we're working on a tiny temporary counter.

Can you whack a chicken breast with a meat mallet?  If that's a no because you don't have one - get some parchment paper and your favorite whacking implement from the shop.
Can you throw some pecans in a blender. and shake some pre-blended spice mix into it?  How hard is that?

Can you dip a piece of chicken in the butter and then roll in the pecan crumbs. Yes!
Can you pan fry? If that's a no you can still BAKE this dish. (375 F for 45 minutes or until 165 F. internal temperature)
It was a big hit with Partner in Grime and made enough for 2-3 meals as the chicken breasts at our local butchers (not a chain store) are HUGE.

Measurements are estimates - I usually cook by the eyeball method with the exception of baked desserts.

Pecan Crusted Chicken

In a pie pan place:

1 and 1/3 cup pecan crumbs (more or less depending on how big your chicken pieces are)
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Bragg's Herb and Spice Seasoning (salt free blend found at most good health food stores) or  herb seasoning blend of your choice

Whack two large boneless chicken breasts between parchment paper until slightly flattened

In a bowl melt 1/2 stick butter
add a moderate splash of maple syrup (about 2 Tablespoons)
and a splash of Bourbon (1-2 Tablespoons)

Heat a cast iron pan on the stove set at high, (melting a Tablespoon of butter in each pan you use) -

Dip chicken in melted butter mixture and then coat with crumbs.

Saute on high 6- 8 minutes per side (or until lightly browned) then reduce heat to low and cook until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F, while you prepare your sides. When meat is done, remove from pan to plate and  lightly cover with foil while you ready your plates. (The chicken will raise another 5 degrees while you do this).
click to enlarge

Cut into serving size pieces and serve with sides of your choice (in this case, pasta tossed with olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan and herbs with green beans simmered with a dash of bacon fat with homemade bread.


  1. Going to use my mini brain give it a try! : D
    It looks so good!

  2. Mmmmm! What time should I be there?????

  3. Seeing the tighty-whiteys and mention of cracked nuts gave me pause...
    Now, if I only liked pecans...


  4. Ah! You are a "cast iron person!" My house is full of it. I have camp dutch ovens for cooking outdoors and several pieces of cast iron skillets. A woman at work heard me talking about cast iron cookware so much that she went out and bought a skillet! She likes it! Too many people today turn their back on it due to its weight. But a well seasoned cast iron skillet or dutch oven makes the BEST food. Okay, enuf of my sermon for the day!

  5. Soooo... any guy who walks around the house in tighty whiteys is likely to become a dog chew toy? Insidious!


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