I try to keep my recipes interesting. Thing like sweet potato falafel and mango shrimp summer rolls to name a few. And as much as I like to try new, unique recipes, sometimes I just want a good old chicken dinner. This one was recommended to me by a friend who has essentially identical food preferences as me–so I’m not surprised that I loved it. It’s about as close to “fried” chicken as you’ll get here on tush cook, and to me this one is even more flavorful with a satisfying crunch from the pretzel crust. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the street vendor on the other side to buy a pretzel with mustard.
The other thing I loved about this dish was how simple it was. You literally mix the mustard sauce (half of which serves as the marinade/pretzel glue and half as the sauce), then dip the chicken in it, dip in crushed pretzels, and throw it in the oven to bake. Serve with the extra mustard sauce and that’s all.
Nutritional Highlights: We all know that chicken is a great lean protein source, but when we eat it with the crispy skin still on it, it’s not so lean anymore. This recipe has a crust to give us the crunch we crave without the fat from the chicken skin. Although pretzels are still probably in the “junk food” category , I’d say the less junky than most because they’re baked. Plus, you’re really only eating a few pretzels total. If you serve this chicken with healthy veggies (I did roasted brussel sprouts and spicy sweet potato wedges), it’s a great meal for any night of the week or even a cool enough twist for company.
Mustard baked chicken with a pretzel crust
- 1/2 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed (4 cups)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- optional: 1 teaspoon honey to add to the mustard dressing if you like it a little sweet like I do!
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl or plate.
- Wipe out the food processor. Add the oil, whole-grain and Dijon mustards, water and vinegar and process until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
- Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice the chicken and serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining mustard dressing.