Mar

27

2009

Going Nuts in the Kitchen

Comments 44 Comments

Herby Pine Nut Chicken with Vegetable Pearl Barley

Poultry & Pork • Tags: , , ,

Herby Pine Nut Chicken with Pearl Barley-The Duo Dishes

Now that we’ve officially ridden a sweet sugar high this week, it’s time to get back to the nutritional basics–good proteins and healthy fiber.  We are maniacs for substituting ingredients.  When we really want to make a dish, we just go for it hoping that what we have on hand will do. The craving for some sort of crusted chicken creation came on strong, and we had no bread crumbs.  A crafty cook knows that you can easily make your own bread crumbs at home, but that only works if you have bread on hand.  We did not.  And we didn’t feel like making a run to the store for a crusty baguette.  As is usually the case, there was a bag of nuts sitting in the freezer–pine nuts this time.  Just enough to get us out of a quick run to the market.

Using nuts in cooking can really get you far.  They have a flavor that can’t be matched and that also complements a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables.  Plus, they can go from whole nut in a salad to processed down into a flour for a cake or pulverized completely into a spreadable nut butter if you so choose (think peanuts or almonds or walnuts even!).   This time we took a tiny bag of leftover pine nuts, smashed them into oblivion and mixed that with a few fresh herbs to create a nutty crust for chicken tenderloins.  The veggie studded pearl barley was a nice side dish.

Herby Pine Nut Chicken with Vegetable Pearl Barley – Serves 4
8-12 chicken breast tenders
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons basil, minced
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, crushed
4 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons mint, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup corn, drained
1/2 red onion, minced
1/4 cup white wine
Olive oil
Kosher salt

1.    Place 3 cups of water to boil on the stove.

2.    Drop in pearl barley, add a few pinches of salt and allow to cook 30-40 minutes.

3.    During last 20 minutes of barley’s cooking, toss celery, corn and red onion in a pan with a bit of olive oil.  Cook on medium low heat until veggies have softened slightly, approximately 5 minutes.  Add white wine and cook another 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Remove from heat.

4.    As veggies rest and pearl barley finishes boiling, mix flour with green onions, herbs, spices and pine nuts.  Add zest and mix well.

5.    Season both sides of chicken with salt, if desired.

6.    Dip chicken in egg and coat in flour and herb mixture.

7.    Drop a bit of olive oil in a pan on the stove and once the temperature is right, lay in chicken.  Cook until juices run clear, approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.

8.    To finish off meal, mix veggies into pearl barley and serve with chicken.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.

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Comments

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  1. I feel like I need to explore barley more. (Did that sound weird? A little.) Thanks for this post – I’m gonna get me some barley and try out your recipe.

    Reply

  2. I’m with Megan on the barley excepte I’ve never explored or experienced it. It looks like it has a steel cut oats texture – which I absolutely love so I’m game to try it.

    The use of nuts for a crust is lovely. I’ll definitely have to try it. Whenever I run out of bread (I don’t think I’ve ever used store bought breadcrumbs), I use crackers mixed with a bit of parm and dry italian dressing seasoning mix. Cracker breading heaven. Please believe me!

    keep it cookin’, duo!!!

    Reply

  3. Hmm…looks like I can’t edit my post. Oh well. Looking at the barley more…it looks more like the texture of medium grain brown rice (like PF Chang’s uses.) In any case, I’m game to try it.

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  4. I use a pine nut crust on salmon all the time, and it is delicious, but I have to agree with the two previous comments-the barley is show stopping-it just looks so healthy and pretty.

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  5. I have half a bag of pine nuts in the fridge right now, I totally want to make this. My husband doesn’t really like pine nuts, but maybe if I chop them finely he won’t notice :)

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  6. Well this is way healthy after all your indulgence.

    Reply

  7. We love nut-crusted recipes! The pinenut crust on the chicken is a great idea! Yum!

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  8. Holy cow, that looks great! I am famous for starting a recipe and not having all the stuff to make it, so I am also getting creative when you don’t have the right ingredient!

    I’ve used oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, ground flax seed, corn meal, etc… and it mostly turns out ok!

    Thanks for sharing that recipe!

    Reply

  9. Mmm, I love using nuts as a coating for chicken in place of bread. Nuts make everything super delicious and the combination of herbs is a winner for sure. As usual, you’re making me hungry, Duo!

    Reply

  10. Oooo, that sounds good. I actually have a package of pine nuts that I’ve been wondering what to do with…

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  11. I love pine nuts, what a yummy idea!

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  12. I love nuts and chicken, this looks delicious. It made a lovely crust!

    Reply

  13. This looks delish. I haven’t tried barley in dishes before. This is something I gotta look into trying.

    Reply

  14. I have actually never cooked with barley before in the kitchen (except in those crazy grain mixes that my husband occasionally buys), but I do have pine nuts at home, so this recipe is next on my “to try” list!

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  15. This looks awesome – If my hubby was not stuck on Thai curry for dinner, I’d be fixing this – his loss! =^)

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  16. Very delicious and healthy indeed. I love pearls barley too.
    Cheers,
    elra

    Reply

  17. YES! I love pine nuts so much. This sounds soooo much better than any ole bread crumb crusted chicken. What a fabulous idea!! Oh man, I can’t wait to make this!!

    Reply

  18. how can I coy you without you knowing ……hmmmmmmm

    Reply

  19. copy….- interesting that it was coy though………double hmmmmmmmmmm

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  20. I really need to do more cooking based on what I already have on hand. I end up going out to get things to make certain, specific recipes and then don’t use them up!

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  21. This is exactly the kind of recipe I love to serve my family…have a meyer lemon recipe for the round? PEEP contest entey?

    Reply

  22. I’m ready to go nuts for any nut! This recipe is wonderful! a great idea…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply

  23. Now you know I like NUTS anything and that chicken looks so appetizing. I’m trying it this week.
    Hey if you are on twitter, find me. I’ll be looking for you.

    Reply

  24. You can never go wrong with pine nuts. Also, I highly recommend a bag of Japanese panko breadcrumbs in you your pantry. It keeps a long time, and it’s the greatest thing to get a crispy crust on most anything.

    Reply

  25. I am so familiar with that “can I get away without having to go to the store” scenario – and it can sometimes have some great results, like coming up with that lovely pine nut crust for instance… :)

    Reply

  26. I love this! I don’t really bread things but I always have pine nuts on hand ——– delicious thoughts are running through my head!! Thanks for a great post!

    Reply

  27. yummmmerooo! i love pine nuts. this sounds delicious :)

    Reply

  28. I made a huge pot of chicken and barley soup the other day. I love barley, but I have to say I never used it as a side dish. I really don’t know why. I love barley.

    I think the pine nuts are a wonderful addition to the chicken. Good thinking!

    Reply

  29. I love nut crusts but I’m not sure I’ve had one made of pine nuts. Sounds delicious!

    Reply

  30. OOOOOH yes, That is a yummie dish for me & my husband!! We love those flavours!!! Yum Yum!!!

    Reply

  31. You so ROCK my world with your choice of recipes:) Vegetabe barley, nut crusted chicken, and pine nuts, wonderful!!!

    Reply

  32. This looks delicious. I think I’d probably prefer the pine nuts anyway – thanks for the suggestion!

    Reply

  33. I never woulda thought of replacing bread crumbs with nuts! You guys are so crafty :) I love inventive ideas like that… plus, I’m still kinda “new cook” status so often I don’t have the necessary fancy ingredients for recipes I wanna try. Good to hear “find and replace” is a technique you food stars use :)

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  34. Wow, this looks great. I think I’ll try and make this at home. Never cooked barley before. Can you belive it???

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  35. Looks super tasty! I’ve never considered crushing pine nuts.

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  36. Ah yes I am a habitual substituter too! It looks and sounds lovely and healthy which for someone who has also been on a sugar high, is just what I need :P

    Reply

  37. This sounds fabulous and looks even better. And the whole philosophy behind the substitution is how we discover something super wonderful!

    Reply

  38. It looks like it turned out beautiful! Bravo.

    Reply

  39. As others have noted, I’ve never thought to use nuts or seeds as a crust but this sounds delicious, as does the vegetable pearl barley!

    Reply

  40. It’s too easy to forego the nutritional basics, and this looks like a supremely delicious way to get them. I love what you’ve done with the pine nuts here!

    Reply

  41. Awesome. I love nut-crusted chicken. I agree it can be tastier than breadcrumbs and give a little more nutritional punch. Pine nuts are also a huge favorite of mine.

    I love barley too. It’s a fun grain to play with because it doesn’t have an overpowering flavor. You can play with it in so many ways. I’m making a chicken barley soup tonight to take for lunch this week, in fact.

    Reply

  42. Fabulous combo of ingredients for this chicken dish. Pine nuts aren’t cheap but well worth it here.

    Reply

  43. Yummy substitution, definitely more exciting than breadcrumbs, I love the texture and color. This whole meal looks quite satisfying.

    Reply

  44. Definitely agree with you on that one. Pine nuts make for a great crust on chicken!

    Reply

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