Lebanese Chicken Cutlets With Pine Nuts and Orange 4.000
Dec 6, 2006

This has the taste of a rich dish, achieved with a minimal amount of cooking time. Traditionally, this is made with labneh, a yogurt that has been strained of liquid until it thickens like a soft cheese (available at Middle Eastern markets and at Whole Foods Markets), but thick, Greek-style yogurt is a good substitute. Serve with rice pilaf.

Servings: 4 - 6
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup labneh (may substitute thick, Greek-style yogurt)
  • 4 to 6 (24 ounces) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves trimmed, tenderloins reserved for another use
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted*
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

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Combine the bread crumbs, ground walnuts and garlic in a wide, shallow dish. Combine the egg and labneh in a separate wide, shallow bowl.

Working with 2 chicken breast halves at a time, place them between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip the chicken breast halves into the wet mixture, drain slightly and then dip into the dry mixture, making sure to gently press the coating into both sides of the chicken. (Discard any leftover coating mixtures.) Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the crust.

While the cutlets are resting, wash the orange and lemon. Finely grate the zest of both into a small bowl and set aside.

Working with 1 piece of fruit at a time, over a bowl, cut off and discard the white pith. To section the fruit, run a sharp knife along the sides of the dividing membranes to the core; twist the knife at the core to release the sections into the bowl. Set aside.

When ready to cook, have ready a plate lined with paper towels.

Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken cutlets 4 to 5 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate to drain, then cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Pour off the fat from the pan. Add the orange juice and chicken broth to the pan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to low; add the zests, lemon and orange sections and toasted pine nuts, stirring to combine. Cook until warmed through.

Place the cutlets on individual plates and spoon the citrus and sauce on top. Garnish with mint, if desired. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Starting With Ingredients," by Aliza Green (Running Press, 2006).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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