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Monday, January 23, 2012

Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Breast

Macadamia nuts are very nutritional little powerhouses.  Containing the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fat of any type of nut, studies have shown that including macadamia nuts in your diet may help lower your cholesterol levels.  But, what's really important is that they taste great!

I've been meaning to try this recipe for so long and I'm glad I finally got around to making this for dinner.  We love to create new dishes with Macadamia Nuts including Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cookies and Baked Banana Cheesecake, but this was the first time I've tried using them as part of an entree, and we were very impressed with the results.

This meal was quick to prepare because the chicken breasts are sliced horizontally, to produce thin fillets.  Be sure to chill the breaded chicken for about 30 minutes before cooking as this step will ensure the breading stays on the chicken.

1/2 cup  Soy Sauce
1 1/2 TB  Brown Sugar
1 TB  Cooking Sherry
2 TB  Olive Oil
2 tsp  Fresh Minced Garlic
1 tsp  Fresh Minced Ginger
4  Chicken Breasts, (about 2 lbs) boneless & skinless,
     cut in half crosswise so you have 8 thin fillets
1 cup  Finely Chopped Roasted Macadamia Nuts
1 cup  Panko Crumbs
1 cup  Flour
3  Large Eggs, beaten
2 TB  Canola Oil
1 TB  Butter

For this recipe you will need a large gallon-sized ziploc bag to marinate the chicken.  To the ziploc bag, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry, olive oil, garlic and ginger.  Next add the chicken breasts, zip the bag closed and turn over several times to fully coat the chicken.  Let marinate for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

In a medium bowl combine the macadamia nuts and bread crumbs, and in a separate bowl beat the 3 eggs.

Start your assembly line and bread the chicken breasts, first in the flour, next in the eggs then finally in the nut-crumb mixture.  Be sure to press the nut-crumb mixture firmly onto the chicken so the breading sticks.  Place the fillets on a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  (This will help the crumb mixture to adhere to the chicken.)

In a large heavy skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Add chicken fillets, cover and saute for about 5 minutes without turning, until fillets are golden brown.  Gently turn the fillets over and cook 4 -5 minutes longer or just until the chicken juices run clear.  (Test the thickest piece of chicken at this point to check for doneness.

Serve with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Garlic Butter Green Beans, and honey mustard to dip the chicken into if desired.

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