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Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

Chicken is always a welcome dish at our house. Our Miss M created her take on a delicious pecan-crusted chicken served in a luncheon salad at our favorite restaurant years ago.


For a heartier dinner meal, she elected to prepare it as a main dish with yummy sides of her creation as well. The Roasted Squash Medley was a big winner at our dinner table! Try it, you'll love it, too.


Bon appetit ~!


M's Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast Filets and Roasted Squash Medley


Ingredients:

FOR CHICKEN BREAST FILLETS:

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, made into fillets, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup roasted pecan halves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon equivalent salt substitute (such as Mrs. Dash)
  • 1/4 cup flour, all-purpose
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water

FOR SQUASH MEDLEY:

  • 4 small Bell peppers, (red, green, yellow, or orange or a mixture) seeded and cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices
  • 1 medium yellow Summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil, corn oil is nice
  • 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes
  • Juice of one lemon
  • lemon, wedges (optional)


Preparation:

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Thaw chicken, if frozen. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cut breasts in half; slip each piece into a plastic Ziploc-type bag, pound each piece until of an even thickness of about 1/2" each, and set aside. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Lightly grease the foil; set aside.
    2. In a shallow dish, stir together cornmeal, pecans, and Mrs Dash salt substitute. In another shallow dish, stir together flour and cayenne pepper. In a small bowl, stir together the egg and the water. Dip one chicken filet in flour mixture to coat lightly, shaking off any excess. Dip filet in egg mixture, then in cornmeal mixture to coat. Place the coated filet in the prepared hot skillet. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
    3. Saute chicken breast filets in an electric or heavy skillet lightly oiled, on medium heat, turning as necessary to cook through. This process may take 20-25 minutes, depending upon the skillet and heat on your particular appliance. When chicken is fully cooked, the center of a breast filet should run clear liquid or none when pricked with a fork and the filet should be a lovely golden brown on each side. Do not crowd filets or they will tend to steam rather than browning. If the size of your skillet precludes cooking all at once, divide into multiple sauteing processes.
    4. In a large bowl, combine sweet peppers, zucchini, and yellow summer squash (all should have been washed before slicing, no need to peel unless the skin is thickened and tough). Add cooking oil and seasonings; toss to coat. Arrange peppers and squash in the prepared shallow sheet pan, overlapping vegetables as needed to fit in the pan. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, Vegetables should be crisp-tender. If desired, serve with lemon wedges. (Lemon wedges roast nicely if desired, adding a piquant flavor.)


This dish is complimented nicely by a side of buttered mashed potatoes or even rice or pasta. The roasted squash medley provides a perfect counterpoint.


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This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


 

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