Honey Mustard Chicken with Pretzel Crust

Adapted fromĀ Double Delicious

I am not a fan of the term “chicken fingers” because it makes me think of the perennial kids menu junk food favorite, which is usually served with fries and nothing else of nutritional value. Boo. This version at least attempts to add some vitamins a bit of fiber. My only gripe with this recipe is that you really need to have the sweet potato puree already made (see tips below) to make this a reasonable weeknight dinner. Somehow, adding just that one step makes this too elaborate for a weeknight. So save yourself a step, make a sweet potato earlier in the week, then save some for this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed whole wheat pretzels
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut until long strips
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • On a large dinner plate, combine the bread crumbs, crushed pretzels, Parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic and salt. Mix to combine, then set aside.
  • In a shallow dish, mix the sweet potato puree, honey, egg and mustard. You will dip the chicken first into the sweet potato mixture, then into the bread crumbs, so I like to set up my counter top with plate and dish right next to the skillet. Place the plate immediately next to the skillet, then the shallow dish next to that so you can work in order then put the chicken right into the hot skillet.
  • Working with one thing strip at a time, coat the chicken with sweet potato mixture, then dredge in the bread crumb mixture, shaking off any excess. Continue working until all the chicken is breaded.
  • Coat a large skillet with cooking spray (see tip #5), then add the olive oil and heat over medium-high. Place chicken in the pan in one even layer. Allow one side to brown (about 5 minutes), then turn over and allow the other side to brown (about another 5 minutes). If chicken is browning too quickly but still uncooked in the center, turn the heat down just a bit. I found that medium heat was about right once the outside was browned. When chicken is fully cooked through, remove from pan and continue with the next batch until you’ve worked through all the chicken. You may need to add a little extra oil for each batch, so be sure to heat the oil fully before adding the chicken. Serve hot.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. I think the easiest way to make sweet potato puree is to cook a sweet potato in the microwave until its very soft, then scoop out the flesh and mash it with a fork and a little hot water. Voila. If you want a very smooth puree, put it into a food processor and add a little more water for a thinner consistency. You can keep this in the fridge for 3 days, or if you want to use it later, freeze it in small containers. Ms. Seinfeld has a whole series of tips in the beginning of her books about making and storing vegetable purees. I find this to be a tremendous amount of work, especially for the working mother who is lucky to get a fresh meal on the table every night even with careful planning and shopping. However, you can significantly boost the flavor and nutrients of your food if you are willing to spend just a little time making these purees.
  • 2. I like the Whole Foods store brand whole wheat bread crumbs. You can find them near the flour and baking supplies. They make a regular, whole wheat and panko variety. I recommend any/all of them.
  • 3. In order to crush the whole wheat pretzels, I like to put them into the food processor. It makes them fine enough so that they are easy to work with and blend in well with the bread crumbs.
  • 4. If you’d like a dipping sauce, try mixing a little Dijon mustard with honey until it’s a consistency and flavor you like.
  • 5. I recently posted a New York Times article about proper use of nonstick cookware to the Weekly Greens Facebook page. It specifically says NOT to spray your nonstick cookware with cooking spray. Instead, the right method for distributing oil is to put a little oil on the pan then rub it across the surface. I wrote these instructions before I came across that tidbit of info.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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