Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken and Back to the Grind

Uh wow....I've been a bit of a bad blogger lately.  Its hard to blog when you're living in hotel rooms and not cooking a damn thing (somehow I've managed to EAT lots and lots of things, though).  I've been home for less than 10 days in the last month and if it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not (or at least not THAT much).  I've been to Texas for Austin City Limits, Italy for Italian food and wine adventures, and Philly, Boston, and Tampa for business trips with co-workers that I quite like and have a lot of fun with.  But, its a bit exhausting.  The other day I woke up in a Hyatt somewhere and couldn't remember what city I was in, and when I went to get in my rental car in the garage, I was looking for the Ford Escape I'd had in the last city instead of the Chevy Malibu I should have been looking for.  I was craving sleeping in my own bed and driving my own car (not a Chevy Malibu) and cooking my own food.  I've got a million recipes that I've bookmarked to try (I've been spending a lot of time reading food blogs on airplanes when I should be working).  I promise not to abandon this here blog again...I'm here to stay whether you like it or not.

I made this chicken on one of the few nights that I was actually at home and not too tired to cook.  I've convinced myself that breading something with an ingredient besides actual bread automatically makes it healthier, because, well.... its not breaded and fried, its coated and baked!  This applies even when that "other" ingredient happens to be a calorie-heavy nut.  Coating chicken with crushed pistachios is a fantastic idea and you should try it.  This was super easy and can be adapted to use pretty much any nut if you don't have pistachios on hand or don't have the stomach to pay one million dollars for a can of shelled pistachios.  Why are those little boogers so dang expensive?

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken
Source: Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 cup pistachios, shelled
Salt (if pistachios are unsalted)
Ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness

Preheat oven to 425.

Run pistachios through the food processor for 15-20 seconds, until coarsely ground into small and medium-sized pieces.

Pour nuts into a large baggie and season with salt, pepper and spices.

Drop chicken breasts into the baggie, seal, and shake until coated.

Place on a rack set in a baking sheet and bake until center temperature reaches 170 degrees (15-18 minutes ).

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