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Pistachio Ranch Chicken {and stuff}

by Lisa on August 30, 2012

One of the best things about staying with my cousin is that she loves it when I cook for her…but she’s in Sardinia right now (don’t know where that is? Well….it’s a long way from here!). So I have five days of not having to cook for anyone (not that I have to cook for her and her friends, but I like to do that for people who enjoy it). I like to keep things simple for myself, but also, I froze leftovers of everything I’ve made so far–who knows if I’ll eat them, but they’re there. I’m trying to see if I can go five days without going to Whole Foods or the farmer’s market, for no particular reason except to see if I can do it (It feels like a 50/50 chance right now).

The first dinner I made for Kristen was chicken. I thought I’d soak it in buttermilk because I’ve read that it makes the chicken better (who knew?), and I know she has a penchant for crunchy fried things (but obviously I had to make that healthier). Plus, she loves ranch dressing. So I found a no-gross-ingredients buttermilk ranch, soaked chicken strips (that I cut from whole breasts) in it for 24 hours, and then coated them in a mixture of crushed pistachios and parmesan. There’s really no recipe—it’s too easy. Just crush your pistachios, and add some parmesan (I didn’t measure, but I think it was about 1.5:1, pistachios to parmesan, but you could probably even go 1:1 and it would be great). Oh, I also added a little black pepper. Then dunk the ranch-soaked chicken in the pistachio/parmesan mixture.

After that, just bake it at 350 for 30 minutes or so. It should look kind of golden. Make sure to grease your pan so the bottom coating doesn’t stay on the pan when you remove the chicken…

Kristen proclaimed this to be the best chicken she’s ever had. Honestly, it was really good—the soaking for a day, ranch flavor, and crunch/flavor of the pistachios/parm really worked well together. I’m not sure how I’ll top that, but I told her I’d make dinner on Monday when she gets home, so if you have any no-fail amazing suggestions, I’m open!

News/Notes: I’m definitely enjoying my new gym membership—Equinox is a great gym (I can’t say it’s better than Midtown in Rochester in terms of amenities or newness, but the number of fit people there is way higher). I went to spinning and yoga yesterday and spinning today. I contemplated going back to yoga tonight, but I’m pretty tired and plan to spin again in the morning (and do yoga a little later in the day). It’s nice to be only a block from there (and not have much of a set schedule right now) so I can just run over and do a class when I feel like it.

I will not fight the fact that morning is my productive time of day–after 5pm is such a losing battle for me in terms of work. I wonder if I can change that…or if I should not even try. I don’t have big plans for the weekend—a few coffee dates, many gym classes, some walking around, the farmer’s market, and whatever else I think of. Oh, and work. I have four classes going on.

Any great dinner ideas you’ve had lately? (Either made up or discovered….) I made K the PB cups too. She loved them but would prefer milk chocolate. I told her we’d work on that, meaning, we’ll change what she wants, not that I’ll make them differently :-)

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  • jtones

    I’m going to try that chicken it sounds yummy! Maybe with a different nut though, not a big pistachio fan… I just made a stuffed zucchini that was really good. I basically followed Rachael Ray’s recipe from the foodnetwork.com, but I added ground sausage as well. My favorite summery dinner on the grill right now is, marinated chicken breast grilled and topped (while on the grill) with a thick slice of tomato and top that with a slice of fresh mozzarella that was marinated in 2 tbsp basil, 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, 3 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Mmmm :)

  • cathy@1970kikiproject

    enjoy the weekend, lisa! like you, i don’t have major plans for the day off on monday…just going to do my favourite things: run, coffee, read, get outside…but i’d rather be doing those things with a california setting!
    way to go on impressing k with that chicken!! she will want you to stay forever – haha!

  • The Candid RD

    Soaking in buttermilk? Sounds pretty good to me! That stuff is so versatile. It’s like bacon, and it makes everything better :) Thanks for the recipe!

  • http://twitter.com/purelytwins Lori and Michelle

    love pistachios. really just started liking them a few years ago :)
    hope you have a great weekend, our weekend is filled with marathon expos (michelle) and building a fence (lori) — fun times ahead

  • Faith

    That chicken really does sound incredibly tasty! I love the addition of pistachios for a nutty crunch. And yum, I need to make your pb cups again soon!

  • Brittany

    So as you know I don’t eat chicken..but I LOVE the idea of the pistachios on top! And of course I lovee the pb cups!

  • http://thehealthybeehive.com/ Jane

    The pistachios sound so perfect on chicken! Yum!! I have soaked chicken in buttermilk before, but I think I may need to try it again haha

  • Laury @The Fitness Dish

    Totally making that chicken. Had no idea about the buttermilk!

    Ummm…your PB cups are a FAV around here. Mike also prefers “milk chocolate’ but whatever. He still loves them but I have to use maple syrup in his, no stevia

    Glad to see an update and hear you’re doing well!

  • meri

    I’ve actually never done a spinning class before (or any class except a few yoga classes when my sister used to teach in the area), but it sounds fun!

  • claybaboons

    That chicken looks REALLY good. I’ve started eating chicken again, now that I’ve found a local farm and I was actually able to see how the chickens live. And oh my…chicken is GOOD!

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