But just so we’re clear: if you ever show up on my doorstop hoping for lunch? I will probably greet you with a bowl of crackers or jelly beans and then force you to taste test bits and pieces of the five or so recipes (which could totally be like, chocolate and tuna… TOGETHER) I’m testing at the moment. At least crackers and jelly beans are the going April rate. It will change.
But today is different. This week I’ve actually eaten a normal person lunch which says a lot since I am a not so normal person. Can we talk about how many restaurants have pecan crusted chicken salads? I’m going with a million. You know, because I don’t exaggerate. Wouldn’t want to inflate the number or anything. Because there are a ton of freaking restaurants that have pecan crusted chicken salads on their menus.
And by now you know the drill: my favorite… “salads”… are the ones that include a lot of non-salad ingredients piled on top of something similar to a handful of shredded butter lettuce. As long as the salad includes cheese, some form of candied nuts, fruit, hard-boiled egg wedges and specifically… french fries… I am sold. A salad eater by default, if you will.
So after eating said pecan crusted chicken salad for lunch one day, I decided I was making my own pecan crusted chicken and stuffing it inside a tortilla. Putting my foot down! I also mashed up some strawberries then combined them with mustard and honey, which may sound completely absurd to your ears… but I live and die for mustard. Oh and speaking of living and dying, did you know that in my high school yearbook I listed Tupac’s To Live and Die in L.A. as one of my favorite songs? I was a real winner. Of course you didn’t know that because even I am attempting to forget.
Horrifying… to say the least.
The best part is that you can do whatever the heck you want with your pecan crusted chicken. Make your own fancy restaurant-like salad (don’t forget the fries), put it on pizza (weird?), make a quesadilla (cheeeeeese), turn it into chicken finger dippers (cute), add it to pasta (cream sauce please) or serve it plain with some cinnamon sweet potatoes (boring… but I love you).
We loved the combination of the crunchy chicken with some sweet fruit and tangy mustard, and this can easily be a make-ahead meal. I even served it to my husband who dislikes pecans (or so he claims), and when he asked what was on the chicken I cried out “oh you know… panko!… and other things…” As usual, it wasn’t until after he had consumed his entire meal and I threw out the question of “sooo how was it?” With his response – “really, really good!” – I casually mentioned that the entire chicken was covered in pecans. Gets him every time.
Pecan Crusted Chicken Wraps
makes 4 wraps
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups ground/finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg whites
4 large whole wheat tortillas
4 strawberries, sliced
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
butter lettuce for wraps
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
In a bowl, mix together pecans, flour, salt, pepper and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites until frothy. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg whites, coating completely, then dredge through the pecan mixture, covering the chicken and pressing gently to adhere. Place the chicken on the wire rack, the spray with canola oil or olive oil spray until coated. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip (if coating doesn’t seem to be sticking, you don’t have to flip) and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove and let cool slightly, then cut into pieces.
While chicken is cooking, take two of the sliced strawberries and mash in a bowl with a fork. Add in dijon mustard and honey, stirring to combine. Spread some of the honey mustard in the center of each wrap. Top with butter lettuce, chicken pieces strawberries, avocado and oranges, then roll up. Serve!
I hope you brought dessert.