Pine Nut Crusted Lemon Chicken
Everyone has their favorite meal. Yale's favorite is lemon chicken. He recently took a big test for work, so upon passing, I wanted to recreate his favorite meal, with a slightly healthier twist! I am honestly not a huge fan of preparing raw chicken, but when it's for someone you care about, it's not QUITE as bad.
I'm sorry I haven't made this sooner. It was DELICIOUS. Originally, I was going to omit the pine nut crust, but it honestly made the meal. Of course, if you're allergic to nuts, you can just do a regular breading, but if allergies aren't an issue, I suggest sticking to the recipe. The flavor is BOMB.com. Basically, if you love lemon and garlic, you're going to love this. I like to serve this with cauliflower puree and asparagus, but you can serve it with whatever sides you like!
For the chicken:
- 4 boneless chicken breast
- Lemon zest (from one lemon)
- Lemon juice (from one lemon)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c white wine
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 1 tbsp of sage (dried or a small handful of fresh leaves)
- 5-7 sprigs fresh thyme (save some to garnish on top)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1/2 c pine nuts
- 1/4 c almond flour (or bread crumbs)
- 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the cauliflower puree:
- 1 head cauliflower
- Siggi's or another plain yogurt (1 small container, about 5.3oz)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the chicken & sauce:
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Rinse and dry the chicken breast, set in olive oiled baking dish.
- In a small sauce pot, warm the olive oil. Once oil is glistening, add the minced garlic and stir until brown (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine, sage, thyme and rosemary. Allow the sauce to warm in the pot for a few minutes. Set sauce aside.
- In your food processor, add the pine nuts, almond flour and parmesan. Pulse until fine consistency has developed. Take your crust mixture and place on top of chicken breast. I like to add a generous amount to the breast, this will help the crust develop and will enhance the flavor.
- Pour the sauce mixture on top of the chicken breast. Garnish with additional sprigs of thyme and lemon. The more toppings the merrier. (Note: You may want to skip eating the cooked lemon...it can become bitter.)
- Bake at 400F for 35-40 minutes.
For the Cauliflower Puree:
- Rinse cauliflower, and chop into large florets with some of the stem. I don't add the entire stem because I find it can make the puree too thin. If you like your purees' on the thinner side, feel free to add more stem.
- Boil 1/2c of water in a large pot and add cauliflower once water is boiling. If you have a steam basket, feel free to use this. I do not, so I just steam the cauliflower in the water and strain through a metal colander. Steam for approximately 15 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Add cauliflower, yogurt, garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until puree has formed. This can take some finessing. If you find the cauliflower at top of the food processor is too chunky, stir it around before continuing to process.