Pistachio-Herbed Chicken with Mustard-Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup shelled pistachios (preferably raw)
1/2 Cup panko or unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 Tbsp dried Basil Leaf)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried Dill Weed)
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/4 or 1/2 tsp dried Rosemary)
4 5-ounce skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp (approx) single-varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mustard-Cream Sauce
1/2 Cup dry white wine
1/4 Cup chopped shallots
1 Cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried Basil)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried Dill Weed)

STEPS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Use a food processor fitted with the puree blade to chop the pistachios to the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add panko or regular breadcrumbs and “pulse” the food processor a couple of times to blend the nuts and panko together. Pour the dry mixture to a shallow baking dish.

Combine the Dijon mustard, basil, dill and rosemary in a medium bowl. Make sure the herbs are well-distributed throughout the mustard. Use a butter knife to spread herbed mustard mixture over both sides of each chicken breast. Roll each chicken breast in the nut/breadcrumb mixture, coating each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet, and arrange the chicken breasts on the sheet so that they are not touching. Bake chicken in oven, 25 – 35 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature is 165˚F before removing from oven.

While the chicken breasts bake, make the Mustard-Cream Sauce: Combine white wine and shallots in a small, heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir and boil until the liquid evaporates from the pan, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Gently add whipping cream to the shallots and bring to a simmer, continuing to cook until liquid is reduced to a scant 1 Cup, about 2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low before adding Dijon mustard, basil and dill. Stir and allow mixture to simmer, about 2 minutes, for flavors to blend. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon Mustard-Cream Sauce over baked chicken and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings