Baked Pretzel Coated Chicken Strips with Honey Dijon Sauce

I came across a recipe on Pinterest for Fried Pretzel Coated Chicken with Honey Dijon Sauce. Now I’m from Philly and we have an unhealthy love for soft pretzels in this city. But we also have a love Hard Pretzels as well. And I love Chicken. So it just seemed like a no-brainer for me to try this. However, I opted to bake the chicken instead of fry it. Trust me, I wanted to fry the chicken. But I’m trying to cut down on calories and make some healthier choices (a girl has to save her calories for cupcakes!) so I decided to bake them and see how they turned out.

I made these Baked Pretzel Coated Chicken Strips before going to Orlando, FL for Food Blog Forum Orlando.  There were so many other fabulous food bloggers there and I had the opportunity to meet Angie of Eclectic Recipes!  It was a pleasant surprise since I didn’t even realize she’d be in attendance.  It was so nice to meet her and I look forward to trying out many more of her recipes in the future!

So back to the Pretzel Chicken…let’s do it!

(I used this recipe and made a few changes to it)

INGREDIENTS

Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Breading

  • 2 cups pretzels, ground in the food processor (until they are the consistency of bread crumbs)

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine mustard and honey for sauce. Mix well and set aside.

Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees. Combine eggs with spices in a large bowl. Whisk together until everything is incorporated and it looks like scrambled eggs (before you would cook it!).

Using a food processor or Vitamix, turn the Pretzels into crumbs. I think next time I’d probably make them a bit finer, but it still worked well the way mine turned out,.

Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, and then place them into the pretzel crumbs. Make sure that you coat all sides of the chicken in the pretzel crumbs. I like the press down on all sides to make sure it sticks.

Place the pretzel breaded chicken on a greased baking sheet leaving a little room between each strip. I like to cover my baking sheet with foil to make for an easier clean-up!


Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the internal temperature is at 165 degrees.


Remove from the oven and enjoy!


I thought these were pretty good! I would also like to try them fried (how Eleclectic Recipes made them) to see how the baked strips compare, but I thought they were quite tasty for being a lower fat option. I think they’d be a little crunchier if they were fried, but we still enjoyed them. The Honey Dijon Sauce was a lovely addition! I want to try some of these in a wrap with some cheddar cheese, lettuce and ranch!

 

 

 

Souper Bowl Sunday ['11] ~ Week Nine

I was looking for some Comfort Food, and it occurred to me that I saw a recipe from Tyler Florence for Chicken and Dumplings. I remember that it got some rave reviews so I decided that I’d make that. You see, I’ve never had Chicken and Dumplings before, so this was something new for me to try.  I knew that I couldn’t go wrong if I was making my own stock, so I decided to follow his recipe from the very beginning.

Chicken and Stock:

  • 1 (3 to 31/2 pound) whole organic chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 to 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, split through the equator
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Buttermilk-Chive Dumplings:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
  • Chopped chives, for garnish

For the stock:

Place the chicken and all stock ingredients in a large Dutch oven and cover with water.

Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour until the chicken is tender. Skim the surface of fat and scum as it cooks. When done remove the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the stock and shred the meat into big pieces – the stock will be used for the sauce and the chicken will be folded into it.

For the dumplings:

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, using a whisk, lightly beat the eggs, chives and buttermilk together.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold. Mix just until the dough comes together; the batter should be thick and cake-like.

To prepare sauce:

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour to make a roux.

Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add frozen peas and pearl onions. Let sauce simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Fold the reserved shredded chicken into the sauce and bring up to a simmer.


Using 2 spoons, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture.

The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded. Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy.

Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped chives before serving.

Okay…I’ve got to be honest here. I really wasn’t a huge fan of this. The Dumplings…were just so bland. They really didn’t have much flavor at all. I was a quite disappointed. I added a little bit of Penzeys Chicken Soup base to the sauce part because I thought it could use some extra flavor. I don’t know. I think this would be a good base for Chicken Pot Pie…but I just wasn’t diggin’ the dumplings.

I added some onion, shallot, carrot and celery to the chicken stock. I also had to add a corn starch mixture to the sauce to thicken it, because the roux at the beginning just didn’t cut it.  And those pearl onions? I would definitely leave those out the next time. I wasn’t a fan of them at all. And we always leave peas out because we do not care for them.

So I would have to say that this week’s recipe was a bit of a disappointment. I wasn’t happy with how it turned out.

Next week is one curly fry’s BYE WEEK, so we’ll see you in two weeks!

5 Ingredient Friday: Ritzy Chicken Nuggets

I had some Ritz Crackers on hand, so I was trying to decide how to use them. Growing up I used to eat them with some Cheez Whiz on them, but unfortunately Cheez Whiz isn’t something that I keep on hand anymore. Chicken was on the menu, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. I was a bit low on Panko Bread Crumbs, so I figured I should try coating some Chicken with Ritz Cracker Crumbs.  I was looking around on the Cooking Channel’s web site and found a recipe by Nigella Lawson called “Ritzy Chicken Nuggets.” It was only 4 ingredients so I knew I could add something to get it that special kick and make with work with 5 Ingredient Friday.  Click on the recipe above to see Nigella’s exact recipe – below I only included the parts that I followed.

 

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup oil (if you are frying the nuggets)
  • 2 sleeves of Ritz Crackers (you’ll turn them into crumbs)
  • Hot Sauce
  • salt & pepper (freebies)

 

Wash the boneless skinless chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Try keeping them about the same size. Place them in a resealable bag. Pour the buttermilk into the bag along with a little bit of hot sauce (use as little or as much as you want). Place in the refrigerator to marinade for up to 2 days.

When you are ready to cook them, heat the oil in a large frying pan, or preheat the oven to 425 degrees F if you want to bake them.

Turn the Ritz Crackers into a fine crumb
(I used my Vitamix, but a food processor or even smashing them in a baggie works)

Place the cracker crumbs in a shallow dish; season with salt & pepper

Shake off the excess buttermilk and dip them in the crumbs

Coat them well before lying gently in the hot oil, and cooking for about 2 minutes or so a side until they are golden brown.

Cook until golden brown

Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to blot the excess oil

If you do not want to fry them,  you can lay the crumb-coated chicken nuggets on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. They can also be frozen once marinated and crumbed. If cooking from frozen, add 5 minutes to the oven cooking time.

Enjoy!

My thoughts…

I thought these were very good! I loved the buttery flavor that the Ritz Crackers gave the nuggets. They were nice texture on the outside, and juicy on the inside. I love the what the Buttermilk does to them.  They were seasoned very well (be sure to add salt & pepper in with the ritz cracker crumbs – the salt from the cracks isn’t enough) and I would definitely make these again! I didn’t even need a dipping sauce!

5 Ingredient Friday: Chicken Stuffed with Spinach & Sharp Provolone

For some very odd reason I’ve been on a Spinach kick lately. I’m not sure why, seeing as I’ve never been all that fond of it. It all started when I was going to make the Lasagna Rolls and I decided to add some Spinach into the Ricotta mixture. It turned out so good that I’ve been wanting more!  So I decided to make Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Sharp Provolone.  So I was set out to do this in 5 Ingredients!


 

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • garlic olive oil (you can buy this, or make it yourself)
  • sharp provolone cheese
  • fresh thyme (not pictured)
  • salt & pepper (freebies)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

If I don’t buy Baby Spinach, I like to take all of the stems off of the Spinach. I’m just really not a fan of the stems. So after doing that, I added some Garlic Olive Oil into a pan over medium heat. Add in all of the Spinach and season with Fresh Thyme, Salt & Pepper. It will cook down a lot. Don’t be surprised! Once it’s done, place in a bowl and set aside.

Garlic Olive Oil

Add in Spinach and season it

Meanwhile, if you have thick Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut them in half. Pound each half (I usually put the chicken between a few pieces of Saran Wrap) so that it’s thin. It should look something like this:

Flattened Chicken

Add Spinach

Add Sharp Provolone and Roll it up!

Once I roll the Chicken up, I usually secure it with a toothpick.  I find that to be easier than trying to put it seam side down and losing everything, lol! You then want to repeat this with the other pieces of chicken. Place in a baking dish with some of that Garlic Olive Oil brushed on the bottom.

Hanging out in the Baking Dish

Bake in a Preheated oven (425 degrees) for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear. If you have thicker pieces of chicken, it will take longer to cook. It’s pretty easy to judge when the chicken is done. I add a little bit more cheese on the top about 5 minutes before it’s going to come out of the oven. There is no such thing as too much cheese!


The Finished Product

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach & Sharp Provolone