David has gone on a two week fishing trip to Canada. He will be staying at a remote fishing camp and fishing for Walleye. Walleye are found in the Northern United States and Canada and are considered to be one of the best tasting fish. He took a mason jar of my homemade lemon viniagrette with him to sprinkle on the freshly caught fish.
I love any excuse to cook something special, so before he left I made this hazelnut-crusted chicken with raspberry sauce and baby greens. This is the kind of meal I like; a little bit decadent, a little bit healthy. The brilliantly pink hued (wouldn’t you call that hot pink?) raspberry sauce is made with fresh raspberries pureed in a blender with an infusion of safflower oil to emulsify. It was wonderful on the chicken and on the salad. The chicken was rich with a coating of mustard and mint flavored mayonnaise topped with panko crumbs and finely chopped pecans. I could not find hazelnuts. Somehow I feel it would have been even better with the hazelnuts.
The recipe came (via Bon Appetit) from Anna Pump’s new book Summer on a Plate. I love that title and looking at this colorful dish you can see that the title is appropriate. I am ordering the book from Amazon today. Anna’s previous book, Loaves and Fishes, is out of print and is currently selling for over $50.00! Get this one while it is reasonable. If the rest of the recipes are as good as this one, you can’t go wrong. Now I wonder what I am going to be eating for the next two weeks. Cooking for one is a challenge.
HAZELNUT-CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh raspberries (about 3 1/2 ounces)
3 Tbls white wine vinegar
1 Tbls sugar
1/2 cup safflower oil
3 to 6 tsps water (optional)
1 cup chopped hazelnuts (about 4 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup panko crumbs
1 Tbls plus 1 tsp coarse kosher salt ( I did not use this much)
3 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup honey mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, butterflied (I cut them all the way through to make 2 thin breasts out of 1)
4 Tbls unsalted butter
3 Tbls peanut oil
4 cups baby salad greens
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Puree raspberries, white wine vingar, and sugar in blender until smooth. With blender running, gradually add safflower oil. Add water by teaspoonfuls as needed to thin to desired consistency. Season raspberry sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix hazelnuts, panko, 1 tablespoon coarse salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper in shallow bowl. Mix honey mustard, mint leaves, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, remaining 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Add chicken; coat.
Dip chicken pieces, 1 at a time, into crumb-nut mixture, coating both sides and pressing to adhere. Transfer coated chicken pieces to baking sheet.
Divide equal amounts of butter and peanut oil between 2 large nonstick skillets; heat over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken pieces (in my case 4) to each skillet; reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is light brown, about 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on rimmed baking sheet; transfer to oven. Roast chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Divide salad greens among 4 plates; top with chicken. Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve raspberry sauce alongside.