your very best dinner: pecan-crusted chicken breasts & sauteed rainbow chard

Rainbow Chard??? WHO KNEW!?? After having my third dinner at a local Brooklyn organic eatery, I decided to forgo spending another $25 on a meal I had suddenly become obsessed with but knew I could easily fix at home. The version in the restaurant comes with sauteed swiss chard and brown rice, but my home version calls for rainbow chard and cous cous cooked in chicken stock and seasoned with olive oil, ground pecans, dried cranberries, salt & pepper to taste.

But let’s get down to the chicken business.

2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup quinoa flour (you can use unbleached all-purpose white flour, but I’m opting for a more flavorful, healthy grain)
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
2 tablespoons olive oil (for sautee)

1. Marinate the chicken in buttermilk for a good 1/2 hr. Four hours is ideal. The buttermilk will tenderize the chicken

2. Set up your stations:
-flour + all seasonings + pecans blitzed in a processor or finely chopped

3. Dunk each breast in the egg and then the flour and settle on a rack before transferring into the oiled non-stick skillet. The rack will help with any excess egg drippage so your breasts aren’t “eggy” or “gloppy” (if that’s even an adjective)

4. Fry for 4 minutes/side, until golden brown and the pecans are toasted, not burned

While this is going on (or before or after as the chard can be served at room temperature), rinse 1 pound (sounds like a lot, but think of spinach – it reduces) chard & separate stem from leaves. Rough chop the leaves and stems and add (separately – first the stems, then the leaves and cook for 3-5 minutes each) to a pan with a tablespoon of butter or you can simply use the pan where you’ve cooked the chicken (all that yummy juice). sautee with a spritz of lemon, garlic (2 cloves), salt and pepper. cook until almost tender.