This recipe has been in my “cook this soon” file for months. Do you have one of those? It was a recipe my brother gave me this past May in Key West. He thought I might like it and post about it sometime in the future. And there it languished in the file (along with a huge stack of cooking magazines) until this last week. I think I need to rename the file; “soon” doesn’t accurately describe my usual time line. On Wednesday night of last week I hit a low point creatively speaking. Time to pull out “the file”. I wanted something easy and quick, this fit all requirements. And my brother was correct! It was a BIG hit at the dinner table. Any leftovers were quickly packaged for a lunch the next day before anyone could have thirds. The end result far outweighs the small effort required, and the limited number of ingredients.
I am not a big fan of chicken breasts, we prefer thighs at our house. I find chicken breasts generally bland, dry, and uninteresting. The chicken breasts in this recipe are anything but those things. You first dip the breasts in an apricot/mustard/curry sauce, then roll them in chopped cashew nuts and bake in the oven for about 22 minutes. That is all there is to it! My local market had some thin sliced chicken breasts. If the breasts you use are large, I would recommend slicing them horizontally into thiner pieces. One pound of breasts will also go a lot further.
Cashew-Crusted Chicken Breasts
- 1 (12 oz) jar of apricot preserves or conserve
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted cashews, coarsely chopped (I pulsed them in my food processor). Or, use 1 cup if not using panko.
- 1/2 cup panko (the original recipe used all cashews with no panko)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally if thick
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or pan and place in the oven to preheat.
- Heat preserves in a small pan with the mustard and curry powder. Stir until melted and smooth. If the preserves have chunks of fruit, strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a shallow bowl and push the mixture through. Press to get as much of the preserve through as possible. Reserve 1/2 cup to serve with the chicken.
- Mix cashews and panko (if using) on a shallow plate.
- Dip the chicken breast first in the apricot sauce, then dredge in the nuts and panko mixture. Transfer to the hot baking dish and drizzle or spray with a touch of neutral oil.
- Bake until cooked through, 22-30 minutes depending on thickness.
- Serve with reserved sauce.
These were absolutely delicious! You could use peanuts or another nut as well, or all panko. After the chicken was gone, we nibbled (that is a polite way of describing our fingers in the pan) on the bits in the bottom of the pan.
If you want to use all nuts, replace the panko with another 1/2 cup chopped cashews. The panko gave the chicken a touch more crispness but it would also be good with all nuts.
This recipe was adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com, Apr/May 2015.