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Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Bourbon Pan Sauce

It’s always good to have a few “utility” recipes handy — that is,dishes that are easy to prepare for a weeknight dinner, but dressyenough for company.

It’s always good to have a few “utility” recipes handy — that is, dishes that are easy to prepare for a weeknight dinner, but dressy enough for company.

This recipe for pecan-crusted chicken breast with bourbon pan sauce has a rich flavour and looks impressive, yet takes just 35 minutes to make.

If you want to skip the booze, increase the amount of chicken broth or use an equal amount of apple juice instead.

For a gorgeous variation on this recipe, you can use finely chopped pistachios instead of pecans.


  • 250 ml (1 cup) finely chopped pecans

  • 250 ml (1 cup) white all-purpose flour, divide

  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground black pepper

  • 2 large eggs

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 kg/2 lbs)

  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) bourbon

  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken broth

  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) honey

  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) coarse-grained mustard

  • 7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) cornstarch

  • 10 ml (2 tsp) water

  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh chives

  • 5 ml (1 tsp) reduced-sodium soy sauce


1. Heat oven to 220 C (425 F). In a food processor, combine pecans, 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the flour, salt and pepper, then pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a shallow dish.

2. Place remaining 125 ml (1/2 cup) flour in a second shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, lightly whisk eggs.

3. Dip both sides of each chicken breast first in flour, shaking off any excess, then in eggs, then through pecan mixture. Transfer to a plate.

4. In a 30-cm (12-inch) skillet over medium-high, heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the oil. Add 3 of the chicken breasts and cook until well browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken breasts to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 30 ml (2 tbsp) oil and 3 chicken breasts.

5. Place baking sheet in oven and cook chicken for 12 to 15 minutes. While chicken bakes, make sauce. With skillet over medium-high heat, add bourbon and deglaze, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add broth, honey and mustard and bring to a simmer.

6. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water. Whisk cornstarch into skillet sauce and stir until thickened. Stir in chives and soy sauce. Pour sauce over chicken breasts to serve.

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