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Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Mustard Sauce

Nutty sautéed chicken dipped in a creamy mustard sauce delivers nicely varied textures and flavors. Using cornstarch rather than flour makes the crust especially crisp.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Cayenne
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons grainy or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a food processor, pulse the pecans with the cornstarch, thyme, paprika, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne until the nuts are chopped fine. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together the egg and the water in a small bowl. Dip each chicken breast into the egg mixture and then into the nut mixture.
  3. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, parsley, a pinch of cayenne, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the chicken with the mustard dipping sauce.

Serve With

The crisp coating on the chicken invites a creamy potato gratin alongside. Green beans, perhaps sautéed in bacon fat, would taste great, too.

Suggested Pairing

The combination of the sweet pecans and the assertive mustard sauce lends itself to either a crisp sparkling wine or a stainless-steel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc from California.

Photo © William Meppem

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