Chicken and pecans go together nicely. It is a combination quite popular here in the South. I have seen variations of pecan chicken dishes on many menus throughout the years. This recipe came about after being inspired by a salad at a restaurant. I wanted to re-create the salad at home since my husband enjoys it and orders it often. When he said he would rather have one of my other salads, I decided to go with the nuggets sans salad.
I have made pecan chicken breasts before. The recipe is one I came up with as an adaption to the way I prepare turkey cutlets. It consists of a simple dipping of the meat into flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. The only difference is the addition of chopped pecans to the breadcrumbs. One other change is baking instead of frying. I wanted the nuggets to have the flavor of roasted pecans.
The next step was finding the right honey mustard sauce recipe. I searched the internet and came across several of them. I narrowed them down by ingredients (I wanted yellow mustard and not dijon). Some were as simple as mustard and honey mixed together and others included mayonnaise plus various spices and vinegars. What I wound up doing is going into the kitchen and winging it. I started with some mayo and added mustard and honey until it I thought it had the right balance. I added cider vinegar for a little tang. The result was exactly what I wanted.
Do you find yourself making things up as you cook? It is fun to put your own spin on a recipe or recipe concept. Having the ingredients and the end result in mind makes for creative cooking. It is an on-going journey and I cannot wait to see what I will explore next in the kitchen.