I know there are a lot of haters out there, but I really enjoy many of Rachael Ray’s recipes. They’re pretty quick, fairly easy and great for weeknight dinners. I particularly like her 365: No Repeats book – I’ve had the book for more than a year and I’ve probably made around 40 of the recipes. Check out the book if you get a moment…

Last night I made one of our favorites – Pretzel Crusted Chicken Breasts with Cheddar-Mustard Sauce. It’s so tasty and super quick (I probably made it in 20 mins!)

4 medium plastic food storage bags
4 small whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 5-ounce bage of salted pretzels, any shape
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Eggs
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp yellow Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated extra sharp white Cheddar cheese
2 heaping tablespoons spicy brown mustard
Coarse salt
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Directions

Sprinkle a little water into the food storage baggies. Place one chicken breast in each bag and seal it up, pushing out the excess air. Use a mallet or the bottom of a heavy pot or pan and pound each breast until flat, just shy of busting out of the bag. Repeat with the other 3 chicken breasts.

Place the pretzels in a food processor or blender and grind until fine. You can also whack the pretzels with a rolling pin. Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish and add the thyme and some pepper. Crack and beat 2 eggs in a second shallow dish with a splash of water.

Working with 1 pounded chicken breast at a time, coat the breast in the ground pretzels, then in the eggs, then in the pretzels again. Preheat a large skillet with 1/4 inch of vegetable oil; add the pretzel-coated chicken breasts to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until cutlets’ juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned.

While the chicken is frying, in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour to it. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheeses and mustard with a wooden spoon. Season with a little salt and pepper and remove the cheese sauce from the heat.

Transfer the fried pretzel-crusted chicken breasts to the serving plates, drizzle with the cheddar-mustard sauce, and then sprinkle with a little parsley.

Makes 4 servings

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