Pretzel and Mustard crusted chicken

I've been wanting to try this recipe out for awhile, and I'm glad I did.

Pretzels and mustard go together, obviously. And I love inventive crusted chicken (pecan crusted, panko, corn flakes, popcorn, anything fun!). So this recipe has been on my to-make list for quite some time.

I used Snyder's pretzels. I had a hard time figuring out what the right consistency the crumb should be, so I broke some of the pretzels by hand after I'd pulsed a couple times. I liked the chunks of the pretzel--but it might actually work better to put the pretzels in a bag and smash it with a [meat tenderizer : wooden spoon : metal bowl]

Here's the recipe:
1/4 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 cup water
1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor (or a bag, or whatever), pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl (I usually use a lipped plate for this sort of thing).

Wipe out the food processor. Add the oil, whole-grain and Dijon mustards, water and vinegar and process until smooth and frothy. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, add the chicken breasts and turn to coat.

If the chicken breasts are really large, it's nice to cut them into smaller, palm size pieces so they're the right size serving. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet (this is key to get both sides crunchy, or else the bottom gets a little soggy). Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Slice the chicken and serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining mustard dressing, and a green salad (boston lettuce, tomato, cucumber worked well).


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