It’s been a while since I’ve shared any delicious food around here, which is kind of weird since I literally cook at home an average of 28 out of 30 days of the month. I need to share more food around here, don’t you think?! We love good food, as you probably know. Even if it takes a little bit of extra time we are all for it. Our kids are great eaters and really open to anything that we cook which makes our life so much easier. I’ve shared today’s recipe on here before years ago but I have since changed how we make it a bit and I wanted to update with some fresh photos anyways. So, I decided I would just make it a whole refreshed post. One of Ryan’s favorite meals for me to make it Pretzel Crusted Chicken. It can take a bit to make but with the new and healthier ways I’ve been making it, it actually takes less time. Hooray for that! Before you beginning prepping your meal, go ahead and start the oven to 425* to start preheating. If your oven preheats very fast then you will probably want to actually wait a little bit. Then get your pretzels and your food processor out to start crushing up your pretzels. If you don’t have a food processor you can also use a gallon bag and a rolling pin or pan to smash the pretzels into smaller chunks. I like having some parts that are more a pretzel dust and others that are smaller chunks for a good consistency.
Take some clear saran wrap and your chicken breasts and pound them out into nice thinner breasts. This will help with cooking time and will create a bigger surface area for coating. Do one breast a time and try to pound them out to an even thickness throughout.
Now that you have your pretzels and your chicken prepped, crack 2 eggs and gently beat them. I toss in about 1 teaspoon of water with the eggs so they are just slightly thinner in consistency. Dip the chicken into the egg and then coat them with the pretzel coating. If I don’t feel like I get them coated well the first time I’ll coat them a second time in both the egg and the pretzel mixture. Then lay them on your baking pan.
Usually I will coat my pretzel coated chicken breasts with a little bit of olive oil so they get a nice browned, crunchy texture but I’ve done it without just the same and both ways work great.
While your chicken is baking you are going to want to get our your sauce pan to make your cheddar sauce. First combine your 2 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp butter (or oil) to make a roux. Once those two are combined nicely add in your milk and whisk. Once the milk starts to bubble, you are going to slowly add in your cheese and your mustard. I typically add in the mustard to taste but you can start with the 2 tablespoons and go from there. Then season with some salt and pepper to taste.
Set aside your sauce and chop your onion and dill pickles.
Once your chicken is finished, transfer to the plates you’ll be serving on and drizzle with the cheddar mustard sauce and top with dill pickles and onions. I’m telling you – I know how weird the pickles and the onion addition sounds but it adds an entirely new level of awesome to this dish. Don’t shake it until you try it!
- 4 small, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 5-ounce bag of salted pretzels, any shape
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter (or oil)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3/4 pound, about 2 1/2 cups, sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard (sometimes I add more)
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large dill pickle, finely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 425*
- Place the pretzels in a food processor or blender and grind until fine. Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish and add some salt and pepper.
- Take a piece of plastic wrap and covered each breast and pound them out thinner, one at a time.
- Crack and beat 2 eggs in a second shallow dish with a splash of water.
- One at a time, coat each chicken breast in the egg and then the ground pretzels.
- Add the pretzel-coated chicken breast to baking pan and place in oven for about 35 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, in a medium saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour to it. Cook flour and butter for 1 minute and then whisk in the milk.
- When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheese and mustard (I add cheese and mustard to taste) a spoon.
- Season with a little salt and pepper, and remove cheese sauce from the heat.
- Transfer the baked pretzel-crusted chicken breast to a serving plate, drizzle with the mustard cheddar sauce, then sprinkle with a little parsley, finely chopped onion and sour dill pickle.
- You can turn this into a gluten free dish easily if you swap out the regular pretzels for a gluten free version and swap the flour out!
- If you prefer to fry these you can in oil. Just heat the oil first - about 3 tablespoons then add the pretzel-coated chicken breast to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear and breading is evenly browned.
What do you think? Will you be trying out this recipe? If you do, I’m telling you that you’ve got to swear you’ll try it with the pickle and onion both. Seriously makes the whole dish!