Saturday, December 18, 2010
Pistachio-Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Hasselback Potatoes
Are you nuts? Or rather, do you have an abundance of nuts in your pantry? I eat a small handful of nuts just about every day between meals, but it seems I just can't get enough of them. For this dish, I first grind about 1/4 cup of pistachios (more or less, depending on the size of the shelled nuts) in a mini food processor and then combine it with the more usual breading suspects, including panko, parmesan, and herbs.
The result of using ground pistachios is a beautiful golden coloring with little flecks of green. It's actually a very visually pleasing dish, particularly when served atop a gorgeous pond of warm marinara. I imagine you could sub many different kinds of nuts in this recipe (and the original uses ground peanuts), but pistachios have always been my favorite.
In addition to the chicken, I was dying to make hasselback potatoes after catching a story on the Huffington Post on their re-emergence in the foodie scene. I've had them before and have figured out how I best like to prepare them, so be forewarned that this is not the traditional method (however, this is). I prefer to keep the potato skins on since the outer crunch is a very delicious texture contrast to the softness of the bottom half of the potato.
Pistachio-Parmesan Crusted Chicken (Adapted from Zoom Yummy)
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup pistachios, finely ground
1/3 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
2 tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp. olive oil
1. Place one chicken breast between two sheets of wax paper and pound until thin using a rolling pin or meat mallet. Breast should be around 1" thick. Repeat with remaining chicken breast.
2. For the breading mixture, combine pistachios, panko, Parmesan, black pepper, and parsley in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season breasts with salt, and then dredge through flour, eggs, and finally, the breading mixture. Drop breasts into skillet once oil is hot enough, and cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes a side. Serve over warm marinara or alone with a wedge of lemon.
4 Yukon Gold potatoes (or whatever you have on hand)
4 tbsp. butter, divided
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub potatoes well and pat dry. On a clean cutting surface, run your knife through the potatoes at 1/5 inch intervals, being careful not to cut all the way to the bottom so they stay intact.
2. Place potatoes in a baking dish coated in cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt. Distribute pats of butter evenly atop each of the potatoes and bake in an oven for 50-65 minutes, or until the outer skin is crispy and the inner flesh is soft. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.