Andouille and Pecan Crusted Chicken
with New Orleans Red Pepper Sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 pound andouille sausage, finely diced by hand or in food processor
1/2 cup pecan pieces, chopped
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
2 small bell peppers (1 red and 1 yellow), stemmed, seeded, finely diced
1 small red onion, peeled, finely diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Creole (or Dijon) mustard
4 (4-6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
To taste, salt, preferably coarse kosher
To taste, freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons - extra-virgin olive oil
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
2 small red bell peppers, halved, seeded; or jarred, drained roasted red peppers
1/2 cup canned or homemade chicken broth
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper; to taste
To taste, kosher salt
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10 or 12-inch skillet over moderate heat
Add sausage and cook , stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Stir in pecans, sauté, stirring, until sausage and pecans are nicely browned,
about 3 minutes more.
Using a large slotted spoon, transfer mixture to a paper towel-lined large
plate; drain and cool.
Combine andouille sausage and pecan mixture, breadcrumbs, Creole seasoning,
diced bell peppers and onion in a medium bowl; mix together well. Spread over
a large rimmed cookie sheet.
Prepare red pepper sauce; place fresh peppers on the oiled rack of a small
broiler pan and roast peppers under a preheated broiler until the skin is blackened.
Place in a one quart sealed plastic bag; allow to steam for 5-8 minutes.
Peel, and remove inner membranes; coarsely chop.
Place freshly roasted peppers, chicken broth, cayenne pepper and salt to
taste together in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over moderate high
Using a slotted spoon, transfer peppers to a blender and puree.
Place back into the saucepan; mix into chicken broth. Continue to cook until
liquid is reduced by half, a few minutes. If using jarred peppers, puree in
a covered blender and stir into heated chicken broth, along with the cayenne
pepper and salt; reduce liquid by half.
Pour into a plastic bottle with a spout and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine flour and cayenne pepper together in a medium shallow
dish; set aside.
Crack eggs into a small bowl; discard shells. Add mustard; whisk to combine.
Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk eggs and mustard together in a medium shallow dish until well blended.
Dredge each chicken breast in flour mixture, then egg mixture, then andouille
mixture, pressing firmly so crust adheres to the chicken breasts.
Heat an oven-proof large heavy skillet on medium heat until hot.
Place the 2 tablespoons oil and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the hot
skillet; blend together until butter melts.
Add chicken breasts to the skillet. Sauté 2 minutes on each side to brown,
then transfer to the preheated oven to finish cooking the chicken breasts, about
6-8 minutes, until just done, juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and
no longer pink inside, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the
sides of the chicken registers between 165 and 170 degrees F.
Remove from oven; briefly drain on paper towels.
To serve, place each chicken breast in center of a serving plate.
Garnish each serving with a sprig of parsley.
Randomly drizzle or dot red pepper sauce evenly over plates.
Yield: 4 servings
* If desired, diced bell peppers and onion can be sautéed briefly in pan along
with andouille sausage, adding the pecans 2 minutes later, depending on crispness
of vegetables desired.