Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chicken Cutlets with Pecan Sauce

How many of you do this? I have a big file folder full of recipes that I have clipped from here and there with the intent to try some day. Some of these I’ve had for years. YEARS. Like 10 years, some of them. I decided that if I truly want this blog to be about kitchen adventures, I should take my cooking adventures in a useful direction and start trying some of these long saved recipes. I might find a real gem, or I could at least thin out this mass of ever growing recipes.

I told Mr. M. that I would reach into my folder and pull out something to cook and he had to eat it and give me his impression of the success of the dish. He agreed! He’s always up for eating.

I pulled out Chicken Cutlets with Pecan Sauce that I got from the February 2011 copy of Southern Living (and I don’t really remember tearing out).

I gathered all my ingredients. I was feeling pretty smug that I had most everything I needed on hand, until I took a look at my bottle of apple cider vinegar. I didn’t realize it goes bad. But this stuff had all this ‘stuff’ in it that didn’t dissolve when I shook it up and looked like slimy and gloppy… I just wasn’t chancing using it. So I tossed it and bought some new.

Toast the pecans. Easy enough.

My problem is always cooking chicken on the stop top; frying. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me. Its like I can never get it cooked all the way through without burning it or at least drying it out like shoe leather. I even butterflied these cutlets cause they were pretty thick. If I hadn’t, I might still be trying to get these girls cooked through.

After it was finally done, I made the sauce. It seemed to turn out well. I made couscous and vegetables to go with it. The Kid was pretty dubious about the whole meal. But his palate runs more toward burgers, pizza and meat in a mostly nugget form.

Mr. M. said he would give the chicken a B-. It was good enough tasting, but not as flavorful as you’d hope. Mostly you tasted the thyme and little else. The chicken had no other flavor, but chicken. The Kid said he’d give it a B, after he scraped the pecans off, cause he doesn’t like nuts. He also suggested that I move my cooking adventures to Sunday night, when he isn’t here.

I would agree with the B- rating for this recipe. It wasn’t very flavorful and I can think of a lot of other ways to make chicken more interesting. So this recipe isn’t a saver or to go into the regular rotation. That’s one cleared out of the file!

If you think you might like a milder chicken dish or can think of what this recipe needs to give it more of a kick, give it a try!

Chicken Cutlets with Pecan Sauce
½ cup pecans
½ cup butter, divided
4 chicken cutlets (about 1 ¼ lb)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 T flour
3 T olive oil
½ cup chicken broth
1 T brown sugar
2 T cider vinegar
½ tsp dried thyme

Heat pecans and 2 T butter in a large nonstick skillet over med/low heat, stirring often, 2-3 min or unitl toasted and fragrant. Remove from skillet.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour.

Cook chicken in hot oil in skillet over med heat, 3-4 min on each side or until golden brown and down. Transfer to a serving platter. Top with pecans.

Add chicken broth to skillet, cook 2 min, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Add brown sugar, vinegar and thyme. Cook 3-4 min or until sugar is melted and sauce is slightly thickened. Whisk in remaining 2T butter. Serve sauce over chicken.

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