Hazelnut Crusted Chicken with Creamy Wine Sauce
This Chicken McKenzie recipe of hazelnut crusted chicken drizzled with creamy wine sauce was developed to show off the delicious hazelnuts of Oregon’s McKenzie River Valley. You and your family will definitely love this Chicken McKenzie dish. An elegant dish showcasing Oregon hazelnuts and wines.
Did you know:
- Hazelnuts are actually filberts. In 1981, the Oregon Filbert Commission decided to conform to the common standard and began emphasizing “hazelnut.” Here in the state of Oregon, old timers still refer to them as filberts.
- In 1858, the first cultured hazelnut tree was planted in Oregon by retired Hudson’s Bay Company employee, Sam Strictland in Scottsburg.
- The hazelnut became Oregon’s official State Nut in 1989.
- 1 cup Pinot Gris wine
- 1 tablespoon green onions or shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, finely chopped and fresh
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, fresh and homemade
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 (6 to 7-ounce) chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless**
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a small saucepan, combine Pinot Gris wine and shallots; bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced in volume to approximately 1/4 cup. Whisk in cream and Dijon mustard; reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add thyme; set aside in a warm place.
Working with one chicken breast at a time, place each between two pieces of plastic wrap with the smooth side down (where the skin used to be). Working from the center to the edges, gently pound each chicken breast with a meat mallet to 1/2-inch thick. You want the smooth side to remain intact while the ragged side receives the impact of the mallet. Since chicken has little connective tissue, it is important to use gentle strokes when pounding the meat can tear easily.
In a shallow pie plate, add flour. Roll chicken in flour mixture to coat all sides, shaking off excess.
Place lightly beaten egg in a shallow container; dip floured chicken in egg mixture.
In another shallow container, combine chopped hazelnuts and bread crumbs. Dip chicken in hazelnut mixture to coat evenly.
Melt butter in a sautor frying pan large enough to hold all the chicken breasts in one layer. Saute chicken breasts over medium heat until golden brown, turning once. This will take 2 to 3 minutes per side (be careful not to overcook). Remove from heat and let drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, bring the Pinot Gris Sauce back up to temperature and whisk in the chopped parsley. Spoon sauce over each chicken cutlet and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
* To toast hazelnuts - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a baking pan toast hazelnuts in one layer in middle of oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly colored and skins are blistered. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute. Rub nuts in towel to remove loose skins; and cool completely.
** The U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as food agencies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, advises against washing poultry. Rinsing chicken will not remove or kill much bacteria, and the splashing of water around the sink can spread the bacteria found in raw chicken. Cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit effectively destroys the most common culprits behind food-borne illness.