As good as fried chicken, this dish has a crunchy coating and a piquant tarragon-mustard flavor. It may be prepared ahead and baked just before serving.
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/3 cup finely ground pecans
- 1 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Remove any visible fat from the chicken. Combine the buttermilk, mustard, and pepper. Marinate the chicken in the buttermilk mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Combine the remaining ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (don’t drain) and coat each piece liberally with the bread-crumb mixture, patting crumbs in place. (At this point, you may refrigerate it, covered, for several hours.) Place the chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been liberally coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, turn with a metal spatula so as not to dislodge crumbs, and bake 10 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden.
Terri Wuerthner is an herb lover and food developer in Palo Alto, California.