Not sure what happened, we were waiting for Spring to arrive, I blinked twice and October is about to end. As those who follow my blog know very well by now, I look forward to the last Monday of each month, because it is Reveal Day for The Secret Recipe Club.  Food bloggers are paired in secret, choose a recipe to make from their assigned blog, and post about it on the exact same time.  This month I was assigned the blog hosted by Traci,  Burnt Apple.  Her choice of name for her blog gave me a huge smile – apparently she was not a very good cook, and had a tendency to burn stuff. Evidently, those are days left behind in her distant past.  Not only her site is full of great recipes, but she deals with a tricky situation as far as cooking is concerned: her husband was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes when he was very young, so Traci adapts all sorts of recipes to accommodate his requirements.  I feel that I have it all so easy!  Both Phil and I can eat anything, so if I decide to bake something gluten-free, or opt for a Paleo-friendly recipe, it’s just for experimenting and for fun.  It is a totally different story when one deals with diabetes or serious food allergies.  I am in awe of her efforts, and the way she uses her blog to help others faced with the same type of problem.  Now, quoting a paragraph from her About page:

“I’ve become a master recipe manipulator. I can make anything healthier and still taste great. I’ve also learned how to eat healthy on a strict (aka teeny tiny) budget. I’ve taught what I’ve learned (and made) for stores like Whole Foods Market and Sunflower Market. I’ve even shared my creations and ideas on my local TV news programs”.

Isn’t that amazing? I was paired with a superstar!  Usually I decide on a recipe pretty quickly, but this month I went through a bit of a struggle.    I kept going back and forth, tempted by her Winter Squash Cheese Flatbread,  her Ham and Cornmeal Cakes,  her Greek Yogurt Lemon Drop Cookies,  and – this might surprise you – her Arby’s Beef and Cheddar Sandwiches.  It turns out that in one of my first road trips with Phil, we were in the middle of nowhere and stopped for a bite to eat at Arby’s.  I had never been to that fast food place, and ordered that exact sandwich.  My gosh, I loved every single bite of it, could not care less if it was fancy or not fancy, healthy or not healthy. In fact, just writing about it makes me crave one… Anyway, after a full week of indecision, I made her delicious version of boneless chicken breasts, and a tasty dressing to go with it.


(from Burnt Apple)

for chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup finely crushed pecans
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

for dressing:
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp green onion, finely chopped (I omitted)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1/2 lemon)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish or use a dish with a rack to keep the pieces surrounded by air all around.

In a food processor, pulse grind the pecans, cornmeal, parmesan cheese, onion powder, rosemary, salt and pepper until fine. Pour mixture into a bowl. In another small bowl, mix together the egg and milk.

Dip the chicken pieces in the milk mixture, than into the pecan mixture, lightly coating both sides. Arrange chicken pieces in the baking dish.

Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, flipping the chicken once halfway through baking time. Make the dressing while the chicken is cooking:  whisk together all dressing ingredients until combined. Transfer dressing to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Shake before use.

Remove the chicken from the oven when the center of the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Allow the chicken to cool for several minutes before slicing.

Drizzle with honey mustard dressing when you serve it.


to print the recipe, click here


compositeComments:  This was a fun recipe to prepare, and the chicken turned out surprisingly moist for boneless pieces baked straight in a hot oven.  I guess the coating performed its beautiful magic.  I baked the pieces over a rack, and turned the pieces half way through baking time, as recommended.

The dressing went perfectly with it, at least for my taste. Phil preferred his chicken without any extra flavor, he thought that just the breading with the nuts and cheese was perfect to showcase the natural taste of the meat.  You will have to make it and decide if you side with me or him…  Of course, if you side with the hubby, this shattering blow to my ego will not affect my relationship with you. We will still be friends.  I promise.

Traci, now that the secret is out, I will be following your blog adventures, your style of cooking matches mine quite well…

For those who want to see a nice collection of recipes from my friends over at The Secret Recipe Club, click on the funky frog at the end of the post. She is funky, but nice, and loves to be poked…

ONE YEAR AGO: Bewitching Kitchen on Fire!

TWO YEARS AGO: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

THREE YEARS AGO: Chiarello’s Chicken Cacciatore

FOUR YEARS AGO: Donna Hay’s Thai-Inspired Dinner