To get into our weeknight dinner rotation, I have two requirements. The recipe must:
- Require as little prep time as possible, especially on Mondays and Wednesdays because those are our TV nights.
- Get as few dishes dirty as possible because doing dishes is the worst chore in the world.
That last one is a toughie. I’m probably the most inefficient person in the kitchen when it comes to utensils and dishes. I seem to have the unfortunate gift of being able to consistently fill the sink full of dishes even if we have cereal or sandwiches. I can empty most of my cabinets, the knife block, and half the utensil drawer for labor-intensive meals. Two people, one meal, three loads of dishes. Gah.
Pistachio-Crusted Chicken does get a few dishes dirty, but it’s really so very easy. Chicken goes into a baggie with crushed pistachios. Zip, shake, and bake. It’s pretty much lazy-on-a-plate. So I make it a lot.
Pistachios are my husband’s favorite snack so we always have them on hand in some form: shelled, unshelled, salted, darn-I-bought-unsalted. If I don’t have shelled pistachios, my husband will handle shelling duties. Best sous chef ever, though it does take a while to get enough pistachios with the shell-one/eat-one method. But really, as long as I don’t have to do it, I don’t care
Chicken breasts baked with a seasoned pistachio crust.
- 1 cup pistachios, shelled
- Salt (if pistachios are unsalted)
- Ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 Chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Run pistachios through the food processor for 15-20 seconds, until coarsely ground into small and medium-sized pieces.
- Pour nuts into a large baggie and season with salt and peppers.
- Drop chicken breasts into the baggie, seal, and shake until coated.
- Place on a rack set in a baking sheet and bake until center temperature reaches 170 degrees (15-18 minutes in my oven).
Yields: 2 servings
Estimated time: 30 minutes