Pecan Crusted Chicken on Wilted Spinach with Honey-Mustard Buttermilk Dressing

By Katherine

The meat-to-green ratio must be just right

First things first: This isn’t a salad. Yes, it might look suspiciously like one, but I know my husband and would never serve him and his hearty appetite a salad for dinner. Also, he gets the big piece of chicken.

Pecan Chicken on Greens

  • 2 large chicken breasts, skinned and deboned
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (see note below)
  • 1 large bunch of spinach
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar

For dressing

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp stone-ground mustard
  • salt/pepper to taste

Pound out breasts to ¼” thick. Grind nuts to a flour. Place nut flour and cornmeal in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix egg and buttermilk in another bowl. Dredge each breast in egg wash then nut crust to coat. Place in a baking dish and bake at 365 degrees until done, about 35-40 minutes. While the chicken is baking mix ingredients for dressing. Taste the mix to see if you’d like more honey or mustard and adjust the seasoning. When the chicken is done heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the spinach and cook until just heated through about 1-2 minutes. Toss with balsamic and divide between two plates. Pour desired amount of dressing on each plate.

Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use white wine in the chicken and use a store-bought honey mustard or another homemade dressing of your choice.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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54 Responses to Pecan Crusted Chicken on Wilted Spinach with Honey-Mustard Buttermilk Dressing

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Sounds great!

  2. Mary says:

    Yum! I love the idea of grinding the pecans into a flour. Really sounds good.

  3. This looks like a soon-to-be Southern classic, and so delicious. Love the pecan crust on the chicken and the fact that there’s salad…ummm dipping sauce!

  4. BrainRants says:

    Holy crap that looks good.

  5. Purely.. Kay says:

    You know how I feel about a good chicken dinner :). And boy is this a good one. Love it!

  6. I usually count any inclusion of greens as a salad just to make myself feel better!

  7. KBL says:

    YUM! I am going to have to try this! Ya’ll never fail to succeed! Every recipe I’ve tried from your blog is deliciously tantalizing! Yum! Tomorrow is bread baking, so may be Sunday? Hmmm. Ooooh & my CSA farmer delivers tomorrow. SO maybe I can actually get some fresh spinach!

    • KBL says:

      Well wouldn’t you know, the day I wanted to make this the farmer was out of Spinach! It’s okay, I also discovered we were out of pecans, not to mention I didn’t have any buttermilk. I remedied the lack of pecans earlier this week but forgot the buttermilk. I made substitutions and it was still delicious!

      I do want to mention, I had trouble following the sequence of directions and some of the ingredients usage. I think a step or two was left out. I made it anyway. I thought it was because I was getting tired and was hungry, but looked it over afterwards & the write-up sequence isn’t as clear as you usually make them.

      I think ya’ll must’ve been hungry as well. 🙂

  8. A_Boleyn says:

    This looks like such an elegant presentation as well as being very tasty sounding. I confess that I’d probably have done a saute of spinach or chard with some onions and served the chicken with that and some rice as a side for a heartier meal. The dressing sounds delicious and I’d love to try it on a regular lettuce based salad.

  9. Looks like something I’d definitely order at a restaurant! Looks amazing! 😀

  10. I love that dressing!

  11. Very clever recipe that really looks the business too.

  12. Very, very nice recipe indeed and gorgeous presentation too!

  13. Wow – what a fantastic meal! DELICIOUS!
    🙂 Mandy

  14. That would be at least $25 USD and if you added a salad and bread maybe $30 in a restaurant. Love the mustard sauce drizzle.

  15. Kristy says:

    I often use buttermilk and mustard for coating meats before breading them, but haven’t used it in a sauce before. That sounds delicious!

  16. Eva Taylor says:

    It does look suspiciously salady, Katherine. Does the chicken thicken back up as it bakes?

  17. Anything with honey mustard, and my husband is there.

  18. That’s a beautiful, colorful plate of food!

  19. Lea Ann says:

    I love the mustard sauce! Bookmarked.

  20. Rock Salt says:

    Love it, looks delicious – and it’s nice to now there are other people who give the big piece of chicken to someone else 😉

  21. zestybeandog says:

    This is awesome! I love the big pile of greens underneath 🙂 It’s also a fantastic photo, the dressing really ties the whole dish together!

  22. Looks like the perfect match! I love the chicken and greens together and the dressing sounds sinful!! Can’t wait to try this for dinner.

  23. Can’t wait to try this one.. I’ve always got a chicken dish or two through the week to cook up and this would be a nice salad.. er… chicken dish;)

  24. billpeeler says:

    This is my kind of dish – will definitely try this with the cornmeal and pecans – that just sounds awesome. I would also never think to add buttermilk to honey-mustard – deeeelicious!

  25. I’m not a mustard person, but I am definitely saving this pecan crusted chicken recipe and making it this week! It looks so gooood.

  26. I love this nice, healthy meal. Presentation is lovely too!

  27. This looks wonderful! So much flavor and texture with the pecans. Love it.

  28. ChgoJohn says:

    Great post today, Katherine. Good recipes beautifully presented and photographed. I’m going to borrow that dressing recipe, too.

  29. spicegirlfla says:

    What’s up with guys not liking salads for dinner! And why don’t guys like to share their entre?! I’m glad you posted this, it will tackle the salad issue while giving me all the ingredients I like. This sounds and looks delicious.

  30. niasunset says:

    WOW! What a delicious recipe! Thank you dear Rufus, with my love, nia

  31. crustabakes says:

    You are absolutely right! No salad for the carnivorous appetite of the human male dinners!

    • A_Boleyn says:

      I can’t understand why a ‘salad’ wouldn’t be acceptable to a male appetite. Something like this roast beef rib eye salad with roast potato wedges or a caesar salad with large crunchy home made croutons, real bacon bits, lots of parmesan cheese and large chunks of roast chicken would hit the spot. I’d start with a great minestrone or pasta fagiole soup and end with a great dessert … maybe a bread pudding with hard sauce or a large wedge of apple pie with french vanilla ice cream.

  32. nancyc says:

    That chicken sounds really good with that pecan-crusted coating–I need to try that sometime!

  33. sallybr says:

    I had to smile at the “serve my husband salad for dinner” – that would not work for us either!

    Loved the use of ground nuts as a coating for the chicken cutlets – will keep that in mind

    Great dish, elegant, light, flavorful… inpiring!

  34. Carolyn Chan says:

    Katherine, that looks amazing!

  35. ....RaeDi says:

    It looks delicious and the pecans put it over the top!

  36. rsmacaalay says:

    I would love a big piece of chicken as well with my salad, specially if it looked like that 🙂

  37. I made this last night and it was wonderful. Favorite part was the dressing which was amazing since I love pecans. Was an excellent meal. Just saw the comment about the thickness which was good to know as I wondered about that. I pounded the chicken but not to 1/4″, I used the photo as my reference and it was great.

  38. I know we would love this one. Must try it soon. Looks and sounds so good. Thanks!

  39. Karista says:

    What a delicious dish! I love pecans and definitely a healthy way to prepare chicken. Yum!

  40. Judy says:

    I have a similar recipe to this, so very good and an easy recipe too. I like how you put yours over spinach–good choice!

  41. Wow this looks fantastic Katherine…a dish that could really satisfy a part of my soul.

  42. Yum – this looks like something I”d make for dinner. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Made this tonight and it was fantastic! I’m not normally a big fan of chicken, but the flavors of this went so well together. The mustard dressing was especially good! I’ll be re-posting this recipe on my blog tomorrow!

  44. Jessica says:

    Love how it’s plated! That dressing sounds great.

  45. Pingback: Pecan Crusted Chicken with Wilted Spinach and Honey-Mustard Buttermilk Dressing «

  46. Pingback: Pecan Pretzel Crusted Chicken « thedrivencook

  47. Pingback: Sunday Suppers: The Summer Salad Edition | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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