Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Pretzels and cheese…kind of a no-brainer, that one. This dish takes the salty crunch of pretzels as a breading for juicy chicken breast cutlets. The chicken’s finished with a creamy sharp cheddar cheese sauce, with a spicy note of mustard.
This was one of the first dishes to catch my eye flipping through my new Rachael Ray cookbook, 365: No Repeats.
I enjoyed cooking from this book. The recipe was easy to follow, and while I’ve heard that people take issue sometimes with the promise of a 30 minute meal, I think this chicken dish came together in about that time.
Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Adapted from Rachael Ray’s 365: No Repeats.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch thin
- 5 ounce bag of salted pretzels, any shape
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 heaping tablespoons spicy mustard
- kosher salt
1. In the bowl of your food processor (or if you don’t have a food processor, this can be done by hand in a ziploc bag), grind the pretzels into fine crumbs. Transfer the pretzels to a shallow dish or pie plate and add the thyme and cracked black pepper.
2. In a second shallow dish or pie plate, lightly beat the two eggs with a little bit of water. Working one at a time, coat the chicken breasts in the pretzel crumbs, then in the eggs, and then in the pretzels again.
3. Preheat a large skillet with 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Add the breaded chicken breast cutlets to the hot oil and cook in a single layer about 3 or 4 minutes per side. You may need to fry the chicken in two batches to get it all to fit. When the chicken is cooked through, the juices will run clear and the breading will be evenly browned.
4. While the chicken is cooking, make the cheese sauce. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Cook for one minute, to remove the raw taste of the flour, then whisk in the milk. Let it come to a bubble, then stir in the shredded cheese and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
5. Serve the fried chicken cutlets with a drizzle of cheese sauce.
Note: I liked this dish, but I screwed up and accidentally bought unsalted pretzels, which left the whole thing lacking in salt (duh!). Still, it was pretty good without the salt, and would’ve definitely been a keeper if it had been properly seasoned. Oops! I steamed some broccoli to go with the cheese sauce for David, and I suppose if you like broccoli, that was a real success. We had plenty of cheese sauce for the chicken, the broccoli, and even to dip some chips in later that weekend.