Nuts rarely make it out of dessert territory, but when you think about the great texture they offer, then you might realize how well they can work in savory preparations, like this recipe in this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge. Hazelnuts are getting their due, chosen by the chefs of Food Network Kitchen as the basket ingredient for this week. Besides the texture, hazelnuts have a sweeter flavor — unlike, say, walnuts or almonds. We’re not saying this recipe will take the place of your favorite jar of hazelnut-chocolate spread, but it might be a dinner contender. The pulverized hazelnuts in this Hazelnut Chicken recipe along with extra-crispy panko breadcrumbs will become your new favorite breading for fried chicken.
Pound the chicken breasts to an even 3/4-inch thickness using a meat pounder — it’s great for taking out pent-up aggression. Next, pulverize the hazelnuts in a food processor, saving 3 tablespoons for later (the salad dressing). Combine with the panko, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and spread onto a baking sheet for breading. Dip each chicken breast in a mixture of eggs beaten with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Then dredge in the nut mixture.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken breasts, two at a time, for about 2 minutes per side. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven for about 6 minutes at 400 degrees F.
While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the salad dressing by whisking together the honey, lemon juice, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in the reserved hazelnuts and toss with the romaine hearts, tomatoes and scallions. Serve alongside the chicken.
Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Chicken
The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchen that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!