Pecan Crusted Chicken with Cranberry Sauce Recipe
The sweet and tart cranberry sauce is one of the traditional accompaniments for Turkey; but here in this recipe chicken replaces the turkey; whole berries sauce has a thick and rich texture which complements the pecan crusted chicken perfectly; if you choose to make it in the berries season prepare your own sauce with fresh cranberries instead of using a store bought one.
- Servings: 2-3
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small eggs
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
- ¼ cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is preferred)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with non stick cooking spray.
Rinse chicken breasts with water; pat dry with paper towels. Trim off the visible fat and cut lengthwise into 1 inch strips or thinly like tenders; Sprinkle ½ teaspoon black pepper and salt evenly over the tenders.
Crack 2 small eggs in a medium bowl; whisk for 30 seconds till smooth.
Add ½ cup finely chopped pecan to a large bowl along with ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs, ½ teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon orange zest; combine all the ingredients well.
Working with one at a time, dip chicken pieces in the egg; let excess drip off the chicken;
Now dredge each strip in pecan mixture. Lightly press the mixture into it using back side of a wooden spatula and make sure to coat on all sides; repeat the process for remaining pieces.
Arrange the pecan coated chicken strips on prepared baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes until chicken cooks completely.
In the mean time boil 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce along with ¼ cup fresh orange juice and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in a saucepan over medium to high heat; once boiled reduce the heat to medium; cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring occasionally until sugar melts and sauce thickens.
Take the tray out when it’s done; transfer to a serving platter; garnish with fresh herbs if you like; serve this crispy and tasty chicken tenders hot; accompanied by the sweet cranberry sauce.
Notes & Tips:
- To simplify the process use pre-made chicken tenders.
- Baking time varies according to the thickness of the chicken.
- For a variation use finely chopped almonds or walnuts instead of pecans.
- Panko bread crumbs can be used as a substitute for the plain ones.
- If pecan mixture doesn’t stick to the chicken, use food processor to smooth it out a bit.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of melted butter over chicken strips before baking to keep it moist.