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crusted chicken with mustard sauce

The original recipe is from an article in Bon Appétit from about 10 years ago, and is still a winner!  I’ve changed it up a little over the years, I believe the original used Dijon mustard, and feel free to change out the nuts for your favorite, although the pistachios are pretty darn good!  My friend, Kathy, uses toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and loves it.  The original recipe also had you place the browned chicken directly on a baking sheet.  It bakes more evenly and the bottom crust stays crisp, if they are placed on a rack instead, as pictured here.  I like to cook chicken this way because it stays moister when browned in a pan and then baked through in the oven. I think you’ll notice a big difference too.  I am not even making the sauce today, because I’m going to use the chicken on the main course salad instead, it’s very versatile and makes great cold chicken sandwiches too!

Ready for the oven, notice that the chicken is just browned, not cooked through.

Ready for the oven, notice that the chicken is just browned, not cooked through.

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Herb-Mustard Sauce

Mustard  Sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup peeled and minced shallots
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Pistachio-Crusted Chicken
1 cup shelled raw pistachio nuts
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup honey mustard
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mustard-Cream Sauce: Boil white wine and shallots in a medium saucepan over high heat until liquid evaporates, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add half-and-half and simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 2 minutes. Add mustard, basil, and dill, and simmer for 2 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Finely grind nuts in a food processor. Transfer to a dinner plate and stir in panko.

Mix mustard, basil, and rosemary in a shallow bowl. Season breasts with salt and pepper.  Rub the mustard mixture on chicken breasts to coat.  Dredge chicken into the panko mixture, coating completely.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add breasts to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a rack placed on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of breasts. Transfer to a cutting board and slice on a diagonal, transfer slices to dinner plates; spoon mustard sauce over chicken and serve.

Serves 4

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