Walnut-Crusted Chicken

My family never seems to tire of bread crumb-crusted protein. I love to add nuts here and there, too. I typically use fish or chicken for these pursuits and I have a winner every single time. You may recall this chicken dish or this fish number. And of course this one is my husband’s all time favorite. This latest version is just my most recent variation on a popular theme.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning the chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters lengthwise

  • In a food processor (the small size works fine here, if you have it), combine the panko, walnuts, Parmesan, parsley and black pepper. Pulse until finely ground. Spread the mixture onto a large dinner plate. Place the egg on another large dinner plate. I like to set the plates and the skillet along the counter in this order: egg plate, breading plate, skillet (stovetop).
  • While you prepare to bread the chicken breasts, put the olive oil in a large skillet. Warm the oil over medium-low heat. Allow it to warm while you coat the chicken breasts with egg and breading so that even at this low temperature, it will be sufficiently hot by the time the meat hits the pan.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with kosher salt and black pepper. Dip both sides of the chicken breasts in the egg, then dredge them in the walnut bread crumb mixture. Gently press the breadcrumbs to adhere, then shake off any excess. Continue until all chicken breasts have been coated.
  • Cook the chicken breasts in the warm oil until the crust is golden brown, about 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chicken cutlet. Turn and continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink inside. You may have to do this in two to three batches depending on the size of your skillet and the size of the chicken cutlets. If that’s the case, set the cooked chicken cutlets in a shallow dish and cover with foil until the remaining pieces are done.
  • Serve with lemon wedges.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. Make sure the flat-leaf parsley is very dry before adding it to the food processor. You don’t want any water in this mixture or it will get gummy.
  • 2. When possible, I buy the cutlets already pounded out to save time. If you can’t find them this way, just buy regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts and pound them to a thickness of about 1/4 inch between two pieces of plastic wrap.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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