Hazelnut-Crusted Chicken with Baby Lettuces and Raspberry Vinaigrette
Hazelnut-Crusted Chicken with Baby Lettuce and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Hiya! Hope you had a great weekend! Thought we'd start out the week with a light and delicious summery dinner salad. If you're anything like me, you may have over-indulged just a wee bit over the weekend, so it's nice to start out the week with something healthy!

Besides being so visually appealing this dish comes together very easily and makes good use of the short raspberry season. It's kind of important to use fresh raspberries here--save the frozen ones for when you bake--and raspberries have been on sale in the supermarket all week. So... don't mean to be pushy, but if you are going to make this salad, the time is now!!!

First you make the raspberry vinaigrette which only takes a few minutes to whizz together in the blender and comes out so pretty and pink!

The other thing that makes this dish a standout, is the coating of the chicken breasts in panko and chopped hazelnuts. Actually, I'm not a big hazelnut fan (and if you really despise them or can't find them, I'm sure you could sub in chopped almonds too) but here I really liked the distinct flavor and crunchiness they added. The chicken first gets coated in a sweet/spicy mustard and mayo mixture and then dipped in the panko/hazelnut mixture, ensuring that the nuts really stick to the chicken well.

Then all you do is pan-fry the cutlets for a few minutes just to brown them and finish cooking them in the oven, which makes them super-crunchy and not greasy at all. And while the chicken is cooking, you can divide the salad greens between the plates, top with some of the lovely vinaigrette dressing and scatter some extra raspberries on. When the chicken is done you simply place it on top and dinner is served!

The chicken is juicy and tender with that wonderfully crunchy hazelnut coating and the raspberry vinaigrette adds both a sweet and savory touch, balancing it all out. Not bad for a Monday night, huh?


Hazelnut-Crusted Chicken with Baby Lettuces and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Serves 4
Prep Time:  20 minutes; Cook Time:  25-30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Raspberry Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries, lightly packed (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3-6 teaspoons water ( to thin out vinaigrette--I used 4)

For the Chicken and Salad

  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1/3 cup honey mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
  • 1 package thin sliced chicken cutlets (about 1 pound--if you use thicker ones, just slice them in half so that they're thinner)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4-5 cups  mixed baby lettuces (any combo you like, or really any lettuce you prefer)
  • Additional fresh raspberries to garnish salad with 

The Recipe

1.  To make the Raspberry Vinaigrette:  Place raspberries, vinegar and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. With blender running, gradually add the oil. Add the water by teaspoonfuls until the vinaigrette is the right consistency to pour. Season with salt and pepper if necesssary.

2.  To make the Chicken:  Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a shallow bowl, combine the hazelnuts, panko 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. In a separate bowl mix together the honey mustard, the Dijon mustard, the mayonnaise and the remaining 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper.

3.  One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the mustard/mayo mixture--it will be quite thick and coat the chicken with it. Then coat the chicken on both sides in the hazelnut mixture. Transfer to a plate. Meanwhile heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (you may have to do this in two batches) lower the heat to medium and cook for about 4 minutes per side until the chicken is golden brown on the outside. Place the chicken on baking sheet that's been lightly sprayed with vegetable cooking spray and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked all the way through.

4.  While chicken is cooking, arrange salad greens on the plates, drizzle a bit of raspberry vinaigrette on and scatter some fresh raspberries about. When chicken is done, top each salad with a cutlet and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Note:  Recipe loosely adapted from an old issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.

 

 

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