Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Buttermilk Pecan Chicken & Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Claire Robinson is this week's FNCCC chef. I was looking forward to trying some of her 5 ingredients or less recipes since some of the previous challenges had ingredient lists as long as my legs... and I have VERY VERY long legs.

I chose to make the Buttermilk Pecan Chicken and Crispy Brussels Sprouts.

Now, this is usually the place where I put the picture. This time you'll have to use your imagination. The sun has started disappearing earlier and earlier in the day and it's darn near impossible to take a good picture with crummy light. This could also just be my cover story for the fact that I might've let the pan get too hot and had "Blackened Buttermilk Pecan Chicken" instead. Don't you worry though, I'll still post the recipes and my oh so witty and helpful review.

Buttermilk Pecan Chicken
Courtesy Claire Robinson


2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup toasted pecans (if you can't find already toasted pecans, just toss them in the oven for 5-10 minutes and they'll be great!)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I don't think you need this much oil, just eyeball it until it is enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and gently flatten with a meat mallet or heavy flat object to an even 1/3-inch thick.

In a shallow bowl add the chicken and the buttermilk. Cover and marinate for 1 hour (or all day) in the refrigerator.

In a food processor, pulse pecans until finely ground. Transfer the pecans to a large rimmed dish and add the panko bread crumbs. Mix to combine well.

Remove marinated chicken breasts from buttermilk and shake off excess. Dip chicken in breading mixture, evenly coating both sides (I'm not sure what the problem was, but I had a really hard time getting the breading to stick).

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil (but don't heat it too high). Add breaded breasts (and pray that the coating will stick better once it hits the pan) and shallow fry about 4 to 5 minutes (I think it takes a little longer than this, but I may not have managed to pound mine as thin as she suggests) on each side until golden (not black) in color. Remove from oil to and drain on paper towels. Immediately season with salt and pepper and place on a serving platter of individual dishes.

Next, the sprouts!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Courtesy Claire Robinson


4 ounces thick slab applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1/4-inch pieces (I used the pre-cut bacon blocks you buy here since "thick bacon" isn't that easy to come by)
1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts (I used pecans because I had some from the other recipe and walnuts make my mouth hurt)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a sheet pan, lay out bacon slices. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and the fat has rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. (I fried the bacon on the stove) Carefully toss Brussels sprouts in the hot pan, and season with salt and pepper (I used the bacon grease from the frying pan to toss the sprouts in since it seemed to me that was what the recipe was going for). Return the pan to the oven, and roast, turning once, until golden brown, about 20 minutes (I don't know in what world sprouts will be golden brown AND tender in 20 minutes. It took at least 40 for mine to be done inside and crispy on the outside).

Remove from the oven,the walnuts and apples and toss to combine (Is this even a complete sentence? It's how it was on the site! Anyhow, I think it means remove the sprouts from the oven, and ADD the walnuts and apples. Then toss to combine). Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter, top with the bacon, and serve warm.

The Verdict: The chicken was good. It would've been better if it wasn't cajun style but the flavor was nice. I think I would salt and pepper the chicken before marinating in the buttermilk and maybe add a sprinkle of garlic powder or onion powder to the breading mixture. The sprouts were just okay. I'll stick with my normal method of steaming them in the future though!


Kori said...

Even on a recipe that doesn't call for it, I do flour/liquid/bread crumbs; they tend to stick better that way. So you take them out of the marinade (but save it to re-dip), dip in flour, dip BACK in the marinade, then the crumbs (and BTW, those Panko crumbs are SO good, arent they? and walnuts make my mouth hurt, too!). It seems to work for me, anyway.

And so sorry, but in MY humble (picky) opinion, there is just no good way to eat brussels sprouts; I never have cared much for them.

brainella said...

I'm sad to hear the brussel sprouts were just okay. I love them and like to try out new recipes with them. I wonder if leaving off the walnuts and apple would help...

SnoWhite said...

thanks for the review!

Pigs Do Fly said...

Oh, I did forget to post about the time on the brussels on my site. It did take way longer to cook than 20 minutes. That's what I get for making them too far in advance; completely spaced that out!

I liked them with the bacon and walnuts, but I ended up picking out the apples and leaving them on the side of my plate ;)

Tater Tot Mom said...

I love brussel sprouts but I think I agree with you, steamed is the perfect way to eat them! Will definitely try the chicken though!

Ticia said...

Hmmmm..... It looks like this could be another chicken recipe to try. I'm always looking for a good breaded chicken, much to my husband's dismay.

Wizardress said...

Hey what's wrong with cajun heehee although that chicken doesn't sound very cajun to me, other than maybe the pecans lol

I would definitely add spices to the chicken although it does sound good. Emeril serves pecan crusted fish in one of his New Orleans restaurants or he used to. I never had it though. I do love me some Emerils though.

You know the word cajun has me missing the south now :)

You should make some jambalaya sometime. I have a realllllly great recipe that doesn't use tomatoes, and it has chicken, beef and pork (sausage) I have made it here, but it isn't as good because I don't think the sausage is as good here. MMM i'm hungry now.

Sarah said...

Both recipes sound good but the brussel sprouts have been having mixed reviews. I think I'll have to go with a little different method if I try to make them(I never have). The chicken, on the other hand, sounds wonderful with the toasted pecans. Thanks for linking up and cooking with FNCCC!

4 Lettre Words said...

I think the chicken sounds pretty darn good!

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