Monday, August 31, 2015

Meal Prep: Pecan Crusted Chicken

Didn't summer just start? How in the world is it already time to go back to school?! I am so not ready for classes today :( Let's push rewind on summer and make it June 1st again, sound good? Yeah, I thought so. 

Now if only I could really do that that would be AMAZING! Sadly, I have to drag my butt to classes and get back to real life, but only for a semester because I'm graduating early!! WHOOP WHOOP!!! Anyway, back to school means back to meal prep. I took last week off from meal prep because I found a stash of turkey veggie meatballs and grilled turkey burgers in the freezer- score! So my lazy butt didn't have to cook all week :)

This week I wanted to try something I've only ever had in restaurants- pecan crusted chicken. I like pecans and they're one of a few nuts that I can eat raw (long story). Normally the chicken is coated in some kind of breadcrumbs (not gluten free) but I wanted to keep everything super simple. No breadcrumbs, no crazy ingredients, in fact you'll only need 4 ingredients and whatever spices your heart desires for this drool worthy chicken.

Pecan Crusted Chicken
  • 1/3 cup pecan chips
  • 2 Tablespoons almond flour, or gluten free all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons egg whites, whisked
  • 1lb chicken tenders
  • 1/3 cup PLUS 1/4 cup pecan chips

Lay out three small/medium mixing bowls.

Preheat oven to 40F degrees and line a baking sheet with tinfoil or a baking mat and spray with nonstick cook spray.

In a food processor or blender pulse 1/3 cup pecan chips until a bit of flour is formed. You don't want to pulse it too long or a greasy nut butter will form and that's what you DON'T want.

In the first mixing bowl dump empty the pecan chips/flour from the food processor. Mix in 2 Tablespoons almond flour and any seasonings you like (it will look like the photo above). Often pecan crusted chicken has paprika, but I didn't have any on hand so I threw in some ground black pepper and a few other things I had on hand.

In the second mixing bowl whisk 3 Tablespoons egg whites until they are foamy and set aside.

In the third mixing bowl place 1/3 cup PLUS 1/4 cup pecan chips. 

Using your hands or a fork (I found a fork to work really well) take the first chicken tender and press it into the first mixing bowl- the mixture of ground pecans, almond flour, and spices. Coat each side and shake off any excess. 

Dip the chicken tender into the second mixing bowl, the liquid egg whites. Coat each side- yes some of the "breading" mixture will fall off, that's ok.

Place the chicken in the third mixing bowl, the pecan chips. Using a fork press the chicken into the pecan chips so they stick, be sure to coat each side. 

Place the pecan coated chicken tender onto the baking sheet. 

Repeat steps with remaining chicken tenders. 

Bake chicken at 400F degrees for about 8 minutes then flip all the chicken and bake for an additional 8 minutes. Check to see if the chicken is done by cutting into a piece, if the juice runs clear it is done, but if the meat is still pink bake for an additional 2 minutes and check again. Keep a close eye on the meat as you do not want to burn the nuts. 

Serve chicken on it's own or chop it up and throw it in a salad!

Nutrition per serving (based on 1 chicken tenderloin)
MACROS: 3C/13F/15P
Nutrition Facts
Servings 7.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 178
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g20 %
Saturated Fat 2 g10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 24 mg8 %
Sodium 115 mg5 %
Potassium 11 mg0 %
Total Carbohydrate 3 g1 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g7 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 15 g29 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium2 %
Iron4 %

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