I don't think I have ever had a pan-fried chicken that I didn't like. As long as you have a crispy coating that sticks to your chicken, it's pretty hard to mess it up! I have taken pan-fried breaded chicken to the next level though by subbing out regular bread crumbs with pretzel crumbs! Pretzel bread crumbs add a salty, buttery, crispy coating that doesn't even compare to my usual panko coating. To finish it all off, I top the pretzel crusted chicken with a homemade, warm blue cheese sauce.
This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and aside from the chicken and blue cheese, the rest of the ingredients can most-likely be found in your pantry and on your regular weekly grocery list. The pretzel chicken is fried up in my trusty Lodge Cast iron frying pan. Even though cast iron pans are incredibly heavy and kind of a pain to wash (in my opinion), I will never give them up! Cast iron is naturally non-stick, cooks food evenly thanks to it's incredible heat retention and can withstand high heat cooking. Also, I am kind of being lazy when I say that cast iron is hard to clean. It actually isn't, you just have to make sure you don't let it sit in a wet sink because it will rust and you are better off scraping the pan clean in hot water rather than using a soapy sponge. Once the cast iron pan is clean, you have to dry it immediately, otherwise it will rust. To avoid rusting and to get it 100% dry, I put it right on the stove over a high burner. Once the pan is completely free of moisture, I remove it from the heat and let it cool. Once it is cool I wipe it lightly with oil and then store it away.
While your pretzel chicken is frying, you can make your blue cheese sauce. I start with a simple roux using two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of whole milk. I go light on the milk because this is supposed to be a very thick, rich sauce. Once the roux has thickened, you dump in your blue cheese and heat until melted.
This is a simple, week-night meal that the kids will love. My kids skip the blue cheese sauce but absolutely love when they see me including handfuls of pretzels into dinner. Thin-sliced chicken breast cooks quickly making it so you don't have to spend an hour hovering over a frying pan. Once the chicken is in the pan, it is relatively fuss-free after that, allowing you time to make your blue cheese sauce and another simple side (or help a toddler go potty, put a dress on a Barbie, let the dog out, clean up spilled juice or one of the hundreds of other things moms do while cooking dinner) while the chicken is cooking. Don't forget to set your kitchen timer so that you know exactly when it is time to flip your chicken.
I hope your family enjoys this dinner as much as mine!Print
For the pretzel crusted chicken:
- 2 pounds thin sliced chicken breast
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 large bag of thin pretzels
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for cooking if needed)
- salt, pepper, garlic powder
- fresh parsley, lemon wedges (optional, used as garnish)
For the blue cheese sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 5 ounces blue cheese crumbles
- Remove the chicken breast from the package, lay out flat and pat dry. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. I only lightly season the chicken with salt because the pretzel bread crumbs have a fair amount of salt in them as well. Set aside.
- Make the pretzel crumbs. Place approximately 5-6 handfuls of pretzels into either a blender or food processor. Quickly pulse the pretzels until you have a mixture of about 80% fine crumbs and 20% chunky pretzel pieces. This should yield about 2 cups of pretzel crumbs.
- Set up the breading station. Next to the seasoned chicken, put the 1 cup of all purpose flour onto a large plate. Next to the flour, whisk the eggs in a large, shallow bowl. Next to the eggs, dump the pretzel crumbs onto another large plate.
- Before breading the chicken, drizzle a cast iron skillet (or other high heat skillet) with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn the burner on to medium-low and begin heating up the pan.
- To bread the chicken, first press the chicken into the all purpose flour and shake off any excess flour. Next, dredge the chicken into the eggs. Finally, press the chicken into the pretzel crumbs. Repeat this process with all pieces of chicken.
- Now that the chicken is breaded and the pan is heated up, carefully place a few pieces of chicken into the warm skillet. Do not overcrowd the skillet. I was only able to place 3 pieces of chicken in the pan at a time. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes on medium-low, flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. You may need to add small amounts of olive oil to the pan during the cooking process as the chicken soaks up the oil.
- While the chicken is cooking you can make the warm blue cheese sauce. The blue cheese sauce starts with a roux.* To make the roux, first melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan on low heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Whisk the flour and butter until a paste is formed. The paste will be smooth, have no clumps of flour and be light brown in color. Immediately after the paste is formed, add the 1 cup of whole milk to the sauce pan, increase the heat to medium-low and rapidly whisk the mixture. Continue rapidly whisking until the butter, flour and milk have thickened. You will know when the sauce has adequately thickened when it looks like it would completely coat the back of a spoon.
- After the mixture has thickened, turn the heat back down to low and add all of the crumbly blue cheese to the sauce pan. Continue whisking in the cheese until it has melted. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and set aside.
- Once all the chicken is cooked, serve the chicken with the blue cheese sauce drizzled on top, a sprinkling of chopped, fresh parsley and a lemon wedge. This pairs deliciously with steamed broccoli or a simple green salad. Enjoy!
*A roux is typically made from equal parts flour and fat, cooked together and used to thicken sauces. A roux is an excellent cooking technique to master as it is the base of almost all cheese sauces, used to thicken soups and many other sauces.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: dinner
- Method: pan-frying
Keywords: chicken, pretzels, pretzel chicken, blue cheese, dinner