Sauces reign supreme at the Bennett Camp. And why you might ask?
I blame it on culinary school. Almost every entrée recipe I learned to prepare had some sort of brilliant sauce. I loved practicing sauces. I relished the challenge of tweaking them to my tastes and adding new and unusual flavors.
The Bennett Crew loved sampling my sauces. In fact, my happy little family came to expect a sauce over every entrée I served.
Until one day… I prepared a Pork Milanese. Milanese doesn’t have a sauce. So I served it traditionally. Without a sauce.
Everyone sat quietly at the table, looking at their plates. Not a peep. I asked my sassy family why they weren’t eating their dinner and my handsome husband replied “where’s the sauce?”
Hmmm. Never saw that one coming. I told my family a Milanese doesn’t come with a sauce. To which my youngest sassy gal replied “but I’d like to have a sauce Mom”. Well, who could resist those sweet words coming from a three year old.
Back into the kitchen I whipped up a little sauce for the Milanese. Today, almost everything I serve the Bennett Crew comes with a sauce.
Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce
I’ve paired one of my fave little sauces with this Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken dish. You can also find this sauce paired with my Thai Shrimp Cakes and it’s just as lovely over grilled pork and chicken.
4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs (boneless/skinless)
1 ½ cups shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, whisked with a tablespoon of water
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Chopped Italian parsley for garnish
Parchment lined baking sheet
Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce (recipe below)
Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
In a food processor add the coconut and pecans and pulse until nicely ground together, like bread crumbs. Set aside. Per a lovely readers comments, a few tablespoons of panko can be added to the breading for a little extra texture and crunch.
Set out three bowls. One with flour, one with egg wash and the last one with the coconut pecan mixture.
Season the chicken with salt and black pepper.
Lightly dust the chicken in the flour, then the egg wash and then press them into the coconut pecan mixture. Place them on a platter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes. This step can be done in the morning and then baked in the evening for dinner.
Transfer the chicken to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness or until the chicken is done. I cook my chicken until the internal temperature reaches about 160F. I highly recommend having a meat thermometer handy for cooking poultry and meat.
Once the chicken is done, take the chicken out of the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
Ladle a bit of the sauce onto four plates. Place a piece of chicken on the sauce and garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley. Serve with coconut rice and fresh greens with a sesame dressing.
Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce
½ cup apricot preserves
1-2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce from Thai kitchen
¼ cup water, white wine, sherry or Saki
In a bowl mix together all the ingredients. You can lightly warm the sauce in a small pan stove top or in the microwave. Don’t over warm or the sauce will be too runny. The sauce will thin once it’s paired with the warm chicken.
- Pecan Crusted Chicken (hauteapplepie.com)
- Day 22 of The 2012 Apple Challenge: Chicken with Tomato & Apple Sauce (thegazette.com)
- Simple Supper Friday: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo (paleoinpdx.com)