Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breasts

The great thing about this meal is that it is really quick and easy but tastes like something that you would think took a lot more effort - so is a nice week night dinner. I did the prep work for the majority of this meal ahead of time, including pounding out the chicken breasts, mixing together the ingredients for dredging the chicken, cooking the rice, peeling and cutting the carrots, and cutting up the broccoli to be steamed.  Doing some of the work ahead of time takes the stress out dinner time for me, and significantly cuts down on the amount of time I need to cook it right before eating time.

This chicken went very well with wild rice, as well as the roasted carrots and steamed broccoli that I made. It would also be great with a salad, or pretty much any roasted or steamed vegetable. 

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4


1 pound organic free range chicken breasts
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp canola oil


1. Place chicken breasts in gallon-sized sealable bag, one at a time, and pound until thin (about 1/4 inch thick).

2. Brush chicken breasts with maple syrup.

3. Place pecans, flour and salt in a shallow bowl and evenly combine. Dredge chicken breasts in pecan mixture until evenly coated.

4. Heat canola oil in large fry pan over medium-high heat. Place coated chicken breasts in pan and cook about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is rich in B vitamins. Pecans are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids and phenolic antioxidants, vitamin E, B vitamins and minerals manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Broccoli is packed with vitamins C and K, and is also a good source of folate and calcium. Carrots are very high in vitamin A (with one cup providing over 400% of the daily value), and they are also an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. Wild rice is a good source of protein and antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C and E.

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