Monday, February 22, 2010

The Pistachio Project

If there's one thing we love at house number 1211, it's pistachios. It's true. In this house, we can pound pistachios. Whether we're eating them already shelled or peeling while snacking during a game or during happy hour, pistachios disappear quickly in my house. The weeone loves them and she loves nothing more than to spend some quality time with Pap (my dad) eating pistachios. It's their bonding time.

So when I suggested to the weeone that we crust chicken nuggets with ground pistachios, her little eyes looked like saucers and joyful anticipation spread across her face along with her toothy grin. Game on.

So I ground some pistachios in the food processor. I contemplated adding some breadcrumbs or other filler, but decided I'd rather have a chicken nugget that was not fully coated than have one that was coated and subpar. Can't have subpar nuggets, you know.

Then two boneless skinless chicken breasts were cut into sizeable nuggets, dredged through egg and then rolled in the pistachio crumbs. I sprayed my favorite old baking stone with some Pam and tossed the nuggets on board. With the oven set to 425, I let them slide into the heat ready to bake like a high school girl on Spring Break. Do you remember those days? We would lay in the sun for HOURS...scorching ourselves silly. When I look 65 when I'm 45, remind me that it's my own darn fault!

Anyway, while the nuggets were baking, I sliced some grape tomatoes and set them aside, and boiled some angel hair pasta. I also melted some light butter, added a bit of 2% milk and cream cheese and Penzey's Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle to make a garlicky, cheese, yummy, albeit thin sauce. I'm a total sucker for Brady's soooo good on soooo many things. I buy it by the truckload. I love it sprinkled on veggies, popcorn, just about anything really!

So, that's how this one dish dinner came to be. Some angel hair with halved grape tomatoes topped with a garlicky cheesy sauce and piled high with pistachio-crusted chicken nuggets.

The weeone and I thought we'd died and gone to heaven!

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Nuggets

1/2 cup pistachios, ground in the food processor
16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup egg substitute or egg whites or whole eggs
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the chicken into sizeable nuggets. Dip each nugget into the eggs then roll in pistachios until covered. Place on a stone or baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through, flipping half way.

Nutritional Info ( 4 oz serving )- Cal 211, Fat 8g (1g Sat, 2g Polyunsat, 3.3g Monounsat), Chol 55g, Sod 221mg, Potassium 150mg, Carb 4.2g, Fiber 1.5g, Sugar 1.5g, Pro 33.5g


Anonymous said...

Your father is going to LOVE this dish! It looks great and I love your photos.

Ashley said...

This looks great!! And what an adorable sous chef :)

Josie said...

I just had a risotto at a fancy restaurant flavored with pistachios. It was delicious and opened a whole new world of possibilities to me.

Terri said...

Nana - Maybe we'll have this for Family Dinner Sunday?

Ashley - I tihnk that when I get that sous chef busy in the kitchen she's more adventurous in trying new she realy loves to cook with me, so how can I resist?

Josie - Now you know I'm going to be searching desperately for a pistachio risotto recipe!!! yummy -

Anonymous said...

yummo, girl. if i made this in my house, Zoe wouldn't eat the chicken because it had nuts, and she'd find something wrong with the sauce. Will wouldn't eat the tomatoes. and I'd end up gobbling up the rest of the platter. it looks sooooo good! you do take excellent food photos with your super duty camera!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that anonymous was me, Sherri. I guess you figured that out with Will and Zoe's names in my post! :)