Black Pepper and Walnut Crusted Chicken Breasts
Yields: 4 servings | Calories: 212 | Total Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fats: 2 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 37 mg | Sodium: 293 mg | Carbohydrates: 9 g | Dietary fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 1 g | Protein: 19 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 6 |
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
Kosher or sea salt to taste
3/4 cup raw walnut pieces (the fats in this recipe come mostly from walnuts, a healthy fat)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (recipe for homemade bread crumbs)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1.5 – 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts on the bone (I used 2 half breasts and cut each in half lengthwise)
In a large bowl add chicken breasts, sprinkle with salt to taste, up to 1 teaspoon, and pour in buttermilk, make sure all pieces are coated, cover, place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate about 2 hour. (This step can be skipped if no time…but it works great to tenderize the chicken).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a food process, add walnuts, bread crumbs, black pepper, salt to taste, and paprika, pulse until well combined and a crumb consistency. If a food process is not available, place ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to make into crumbs.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove chicken from buttermilk, one piece at a time, allow excess buttermilk to drip off and dredge in walnut mixture, being sure to coat each side and lightly press to ensure crumbs stick to chicken. Place chicken on parchment paper after coating with crumbs. Lightly mist both sides of chicken with olive oil spray.
Bake 40-45 minutes until juices run clean when pierced with a fork, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.