“A pecan coating makes these chicken breasts very appealing, and two different condiments—red onion jam and mustard mayonnaise—contribute mightily to the delicious whole,” recommends Sasha Muniak, founder of Mangia.
Improvise here, if you like. Serve the chicken, without bread, with lovely little pots of the spreads on the side. Then make a salad of the lettuce and tomatoes. In other words, serve these chicken breasts as a sandwich or an entree, for lunch or supper, or build a buffet around a platter of them. You can’t go wrong. Everyone loves this dish, and, as if that weren’t enough, it is simple to prepare ahead of time.
2 large eggs
2 cups of milk
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
½ cup finely crushed pecans, ground in a food processor
1 teaspoon salt
6 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned, about 8 ounces each without the skin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head curly red leaf lettuce
2 beefsteak tomatoes
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
Red Onion Jam (recipe below)
12 slices of white Pullman bread
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, just until blended.
- In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the pecans and salt; spread out on a platter.
- Trim the chicken breasts of all cartilage and fat. Swirl each chicken breast in the milk mixture; then dredge in the crumb mixture, patting the crumbs on well to make sure both sides are uniformly covered.
- Melt the butter with the olive oil over low heat in a small pan. Brush a baking sheet with the mixture; then arrange the breasts in a layer on the sheet. Drizzle the remaining butter mixture over them. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the breasts from the oven, transfer them to a plate, and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Separate the leaves of red leaf lettuce; then wash and pat dry. Slice the tomatoes very thin. Combine the mayonnaise with the mustard.
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Holding a sharp knife at an angle, cut each breast on the bias into 1-inch-thick slices.
- To assemble the sandwiches, place 1 sliced chicken breast half on each of 6 slices of the bread and top with 2 slices of tomato; add a generous soup spoonful of the onion jam, thena leaf of lettuce. Smear a little mustard mayonnaise on the remaining 6 slices of bread, cover the sandwiches with them, and cut each in half.
Prepping in advance: There are very simple ways to make the assembly of this sandwich easy. To begin with, the onion jam can be made well in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
All the remaining components—the chicken, the mustard mayonnaise, and the prepping of the vegetables—can be done 2 hours in advance of serving. You can keep the chicken at room temperature, but be sure to store the flavored mayonnaise in the refrigerator.
Assemble the sandwiches just before serving to allow the different textures to shine.