This recipe coats tender chicken breasts with a buttery pecans flavored with spicy chipotle and zesty orange. Serve with a spinach salad.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2007

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Recipe Summary

total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even 1/4-inch thickness.

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  • Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture.

  • Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.

Tips

Tip: It can be hard to find individual chicken breasts small enough for our recommended 4-ounce (uncooked) portion size. If yours are closer to 5 ounces each, remove the tender (about 1 ounce) from the underside to get the correct portion size. Wrap and freeze the leftover tenders; when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry, for chicken fingers or in soups.

Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets.

Nutrition Facts

270 calories; protein 25.8g; carbohydrates 6.9g; dietary fiber 1.6g; sugars 1g; fat 15.4g; saturated fat 1.9g; cholesterol 62.7mg; vitamin a iu 75.6IU; vitamin c 1.2mg; folate 17.3mcg; calcium 34.8mg; iron 1.5mg; magnesium 40.7mg; potassium 271.1mg; sodium 413.4mg; thiamin 0.2mg.
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Reviews (5)

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34 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 34
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/31/2011
Used chicken tenders rather than full breasts. Very healthy and tasty. Will put this in my rotation. Anonymous MI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/31/2011
Delicious! I usually make Italian-style chicken cutlets using a mixture of bread crumbs & parmesan cheese and I love this healthier alternative substituting pecans for the cheese and using some different seasonings. Pecans keep well in the freezer so I think I will be making this often. It had a nice nutty flavor & my 3 kids enjoyed it. I didn't have any chipotle so used a mixture of chili powder cayenne instead. Did not have any spinach for a salad so for a "southwestern" twist I came up with a quick corn & bean salad that was SO delicious along with the chicken: one can of black beans rinsed; one can of corn rinsed; 3 or 4 fresh plum tomatoes cored & diced; half of an orange bell pepper & half of a small red onion both diced; one clove of garlic minced; lots of chopped fresh cilantro; juice of one lime; salt & pepper to taste. Just mix it all together & serve - looks beautiful with all those colors & is SO yummy and healthy! We also had brown rice on the side b/c my kids love rice. Overall a fast healthy tasty meal I was able to whip up after work in about 30 min.! Christine Vienna VA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/31/2011
I made this with a friend last week & we both loved it and so did my husband... & he was skeptical when he heard "pecan encrusted". The chicken was juicy & the flavor was great- the pecans spice & orange zest is a yummy combo. We used cayenne pepper instead of chipotle though (just b/c the chipotle was expensive 11). We also used bigger portions of chicken than the recipe called for. We should have made the pecan/bread crumb mix larger since we used more chicken than the recipe called for. That was our only boo boo. Great recipe!! Ellen D. Virginia Beach VA Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/31/2011
My husband said this was one of the best chicken dishes he's had. Ever. This means a lot because we have a habit of eating out in very good restaurants far too often. I will make this again and again. So easy too. Julie Providence RI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/31/2011
Sorry. Not impressed. I tried this because of all the great reviews but I had trouble getting the chicken coated and then thought it didn't have much taste except for the heat from the chipotle. The only substitution I made was using Morton salt substitute instead of the real thing. Julie Alton IL Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/31/2011
Very tasty and easy to make. Will definitely make this recipe again. Johanna Rockville MD Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
My whole family 2 boys included loved this recipe. I used Italian seasoned bread crumbs and Oh it was so good and juicy. Please don't use chili powder that's probably why you didn't like it. I just might try it with lime that sounds really good thank you for the idea. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Great easy dish. Didn't have chipotle on hand so I used cayenne pepper which was recommended through a Google search for substitutes. Even got the steak-loving boyfriend to devour it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
My boyfriend is allergic to oranges so I substituted lime and used ground cayenne pepper instead of the chipotle. I do not have anything to make the chicken into 1/2 inch thick either so I take a regular boneless chicken breast and slice it down into two thin pieces. This is one of our favorites and I usually make it once a week or every other week. If you love lime like I do you'll love this version! Read More
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