Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Seed Almond Crusted Chicken

I have a boatload of roasted pumpkin seeds leftover.  I've been eating, sharing, all of the above, and still have a bunch left.  I probably should have made a few more varieties, but I didn't, so I'm 'suffering' the consequences.  I stumbled upon this recipe for Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Tilapia on SkinnyTaste, and it sounded like a great idea!  Why not use my leftover roasted seeds as breading!  Genius!

I've experimented with breading/encrusting chicken before, and while it's been good, I wouldn't say it's knocked my socks off.  This one though... lets just say I don't know where my socks are.

Pumpkin Seed Almond Encrusted Chicken
1-2 lbs chicken breast, sliced thinly
1/2 C roasted or raw pumpkin seeds (I used my Cinnamon/Salt variety)
1/2 C plain panko bread crumbs
1/4 C raw slivered almonds
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
whatever other spices you'd like!
1 egg, lightly beaten

In your food processor, process pumpkin seeds and slivered almonds until you have a chunky crumb consistency.  Pulse in panko, salt and other spices.  I didn't add much because my seeds were already spiced, albeit very lightly- you can be really creative here with your spices, kick it up with cayenne or add garlic salt, whatever your heart desires!

Put your breading mixture into one bowl, beaten egg in another.  Spray a shallow pan with non-stick spray (I use my Misto).  Dip a chicken breast in egg mixture, then dip in breading, make sure to coat both sides.  Place encrusted chicken breast on pan, repeat until you're finished, with the chicken space evenly in a single layer.

Bake at 400º for approximately 30 minutes, or until your chicken is done.  This will depend greatly on the thickness of your chicken breast.  I served this with wilted spinach and rice, but I'm eating it on a salad for lunch, and that's great as well!

Next time I make this, I do plan on soaking the chicken in buttermilk- it really tenderizes the chicken.  If you do soak in buttermilk, there's no need for the egg to get the breading to stick.

I think this breading would be good on tofu, veggies or fish as well!  It packs a great crunch!

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