A restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz, Clouds, used to have a pretzel-encrusted chicken entrée that always intrigued me. I only ordered it once because I’m more of a small-plate kind of girl (I love to try little amounts of a lot of things) and I could never pass up their sushi offerings on the menu, but the pretzel chicken obviously stuck with me. When I couldn’t fall asleep the other night, I was pondering what to make for dinner. I thought about chicken because we hadn’t had it in awhile. Then my mind wandered to the pretzel coating at Clouds, then it jumped to Dustin’s favorite flavor of Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel bits: honey mustard & onion. Hmm … instead of coating chicken with honey-mustard flavored pretzels, the honey-mustard could act as the adhesive for the crushed pretzels. I won’t bore you anymore with the thought processes of Brianna, but I will share the recipe. To go with the chicken, Dustin sautéed some lovely collard greens in olive oil until they were wilted, then he added salt, pepper, and a small spoonful of … you guessed it … mustard (but not honey mustard; spicy brown), covered the pan, and continued cooking until the greens were tender. The mustard flavor went really well with the greens, and the slight bitterness was a nice contrast to the chicken.
Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken
1 chicken breast half
3-4 TBS. prepared honey-mustard (or mix Dijon with some honey and a squeeze of lemon juice)
One 7-ounce bag of pretzels (we used Newman’s Own Organics’ Salt & Pepper Pretzels)
olive or canola oil
- Split the chicken breast in half again lengthwise (or ask your butcher to do it for you), and cut into 6-8 “chicken tender-sized” pieces, about an inch thick.
- Pour the pretzels into a gallon zip lock bag. Seal securely and pound with something like a skillet or a can of soup until pretzels are broken up in breadcrumb-sized bits. Place pretzel bits on a plate.
- Spoon the honey-mustard into a wide bowl.
- Put a drizzle or two of oil in a large frying pan or on a griddle. Heat over medium heat.
- Working with one chicken piece at a time, place in the mustard bowl and lightly coat with the honey mustard using one hand. Carefully lay chicken onto pretzel plate and press to adhere pretzels to bottom of chicken.
- Using your dry hand, flip chicken over and press to coat other side of chicken. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
- Cook until done, about 4-5 minutes per side, and the pretzel crust is lightly golden.
- Serve with sautéed collard greens.