Maple-Pecan Crusted Chicken

Just hearing the words “maple-pecan crusted” I’m already interested. I’m thinking about something a little sweet, a little nutty, definitely crunchy – a foray into a satisfying bite. Even though I’m not usually a big fan of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, the promise of this coating – made even crunchier with panko bread crumbs – convinced me to give Maple-Pecan Crusted Chicken a try.

I have a love/hate relationship with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. On the one hand, they’re so easy – they cook fast and it’s lean protein. I can easily chop them up for my kids without having to navigate around bones. But they can turn out dry so easily (in restaurants they almost always seem to be inedibly dry) and they’re often just so blah, flavor-wise. I much prefer a juicier bone-in, skin-on chicken breast or, better yet, thighs.

That said, I’m still open to trying recipes involving boneless, skinless chicken breasts if there’s a flavorful marinade, goodies like prosciutto and cheese stuffed inside, or (as in the case of today’s recipe) there’s a great crust. This chicken turned out to be terrific – crunchy and gently sweet on the outside, moist on the inside. As you can probably tell from the photos, these pieces were on the huge side, so my trusty meat thermometer once again came in handy to ensure I cooked the chicken to the right temperature (but not a degree more!). The only small addition I made to the recipe, which I found on the back of a box of Progresso panko bread crumbs, was to season the chicken before applying the coating.

That’s it – start to finish in under 30 minutes, perfect for a weeknight dinner. While the chicken was baking, I pulled together some Vanilla Glazed Baby Carrots and Lemon Jasmine Rice with Peas and Mint (I’ll be sharing that recipe soon!) to serve on the side.

Maple-Pecan Crusted Chicken

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  1. Carolyn wrote:

    I love a nut crust on chicken. This looks delicious!

    Posted 4.19.12 Reply
  2. This is right up my alley! My kids would love this too!

    Posted 4.19.12 Reply
    • It was definitely kid-approved in my house!

      Posted 4.19.12 Reply
  3. Who wouldn’t love this combination of crunchy and sweet? It would be fun to cut the chicken into “fingers” for the kids, too.

    Posted 4.19.12 Reply
  4. Jeanette wrote:

    Kathy, my kids would really love this I bet. I love checking out the recipes on the side of boxes.

    Posted 4.19.12 Reply
  5. Kalyn wrote:

    Pecans, oh yes please!

    Posted 4.20.12 Reply
  6. The chicken looks delicious but I am also loving the carrots. Happy weekend!

    Posted 4.20.12 Reply
  7. What a good idea for a crust!

    Posted 4.24.12 Reply
  8. Jay wrote:

    I’m a vegetarian… but I swear this might make me lapse. Eek!

    Posted 5.2.12 Reply