Andouille and Pecan Crusted Chicken
with New Orleans Red Pepper Sauce
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage, finely diced by hand or in food processor
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces, chopped
- 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 2 small bell peppers (1 red and 1 yellow), stemmed, seeded, finely diced
- 1 small red onion, peeled, finely diced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Creole (or Dijon) mustard
- 4 (4-6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- To taste, salt, preferably coarse kosher
- To taste, freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons - extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
- 2 small red bell peppers, halved, seeded; or jarred, drained roasted red peppers
- 1/2 cup canned or homemade chicken broth
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper; to taste
- To taste, kosher salt
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Chicken: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10 or 12-inch skillet over oderate heat until hot.
- Add sausage* and cook , stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
- Stir in pecans, sauté, stirring, until sausage and pecans are nicely browned, about 3 minutes more.
- Using a large slotted spoon, transfer mixture to a paper towel-lined large plate; drain and cool.
- Combine andouille sausage and pecan mixture, breadcrumbs, Creole seasoning, diced bell peppers and onion in a medium bowl; mix together well. Spread over a large rimmed cookie sheet.
- Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce: Place fresh peppers on the oiled rack of a small broiler pan and roast peppers under a preheated broiler until the skin is blackened. Place in a one quart sealed plastic bag; allow to steam for 5-8 minutes.
- Peel, and remove inner membranes; coarsely chop.
- Place freshly roasted peppers, chicken broth, cayenne pepper and salt to taste together in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over moderate high heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer peppers to a blender and puree.
- Place back into the saucepan; mix into chicken broth. Continue to cook until
liquid is reduced by half, a few minutes. If using jarred peppers, puree in a covered blender and stir into heated chicken broth, along with the cayenne pepper and salt; reduce liquid by half.
- Pour into a plastic bottle with a spout and set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine flour and cayenne pepper together in a medium shallow dish; set aside.
- Crack eggs into a small bowl; discard shells. Add mustard; whisk to combine.
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste.
- Whisk eggs and mustard together in a medium shallow dish until well blended.
- Dredge each chicken breast in flour mixture, then egg mixture, then andouille mixture, pressing firmly so crust adheres to the chicken breasts.
- Heat an oven-proof large heavy skillet on medium heat until hot.
- Place the 2 tablespoons oil and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the hot skillet; blend together until butter melts.
- Add chicken breasts to the skillet. Sauté 2 minutes on each side to brown, then transfer to the preheated oven to finish cooking the chicken breasts, about 6-8 minutes, until just done, juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and no longer pink inside, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the sides of the chicken registers between 165 and 170 degrees F.
- Remove from oven; briefly drain on paper towels.
- To serve: Place each chicken breast in center of a serving plate.
- Garnish each serving with a sprig of parsley.
- Randomly drizzle or dot red pepper sauce evenly over plates.
* If desired, diced bell peppers and onion can be sautéed briefly in pan along with andouille sausage, adding the pecans 2 minutes later, depending on crispness of vegetables desired.
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe and photo used with permission from:
National Chicken Council