Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pretzels, Peanuts and Chicken

Believe it or not, these ingredients combined make one fabulous chicken dish.

When I got this month's issue of Better Homes & Gardens and saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. (Why do I get BH&G when I neither have a home nor a garden? Well, I'm not quite sure.)


The chicken is easy to make with only five ingredients. It is a bit messy with the egg and crumb mixture, though, but that's half the fun of cooking...making the mess that results in the yummy final product.

The original recipe called for unsalted peanuts, but I used salted Planters cocktail peanuts and would do so again. The original recipe also called for an optional 1/4 tsp. - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper. If you want more flavor and a bit of heat, definitely use 1/2 tsp. like I did. If you want to make this family-friendly, though, you will probably want to omit the crushed red pepper altogether. I used refrigerated egg product because I just happened to have it on hand, but if you don't, you can substitute 2 whole eggs or 4 egg whites in its place. I did not make the couscous, but I included it in the post below since it was part of the original recipe.

The dipping sauce it fantastic, and it's non-fat, too. I made steamed broccoli florets to go alongside the chicken tenderloins and would do so again. The dipping sauce is good with both the chicken and the broccoli. Next time, I may add some oven-roasted potatoes and/or a fruit salad to round out the meal, but the chicken and broccoli was all I wanted to make and eat tonight.

Chicken with Pretzels and Couscous

Source: Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens, March 2007

1 cup pretzel sticks
2/3 cup salted peanuts
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen sweet peppers and onion stir-fry vegetables
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
2 T. seasoned rice vinegar
1 T. canola oil
1 recipe Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch pan with foil; coat with nonstick cooking spray; set pan aside. Place pretzels, 1/2 cup peanuts, and crushed red pepper in food processor. Cover; process until coarsely ground; transfer to resealable plastic bag.

Place egg product in shallow dish. Dip chicken tenderloins into egg product. Allowing excess egg product to drip off, transfer tenderloins, half at a time, to bag with crumb mixture. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken pieces. Arrange chicken in prepared pan. Bake chicken for 10 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink (170 degrees F).

Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine broth and stir-fry vegetables. Bring to boiling. Stir in couscous; remove from heat. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Chop remaining peanuts. Stir peanuts, rice vinegar, and oil into couscous mixture. Serve couscous mixture with chicken and dipping sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Dipping Sauce

In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt, 2 T. yellow mustard, and 2 tsp. honey.

Notes: I needed the full 15 minutes cooking time for the chicken tenderloins.



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