Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Cheesy Beer Sauce is a quick and easy meal that plays on all your bar food favorites.
Having worked in retail since I was 16, there isn’t much human behavior that I find shocking anymore. While growing up and becoming more independent I was always nervous about what people in public might think of me. Is this a weird question to ask the sales person? Am I being too needy if I request salad dressing on the side? Will everyone stare at me if I wear sweats and no makeup out? Did anyone just hear me talk to myself?
These were the questions that ran through my head. After over 5 years of working in retail and serving the general public I no longer ask myself these questions. This is mostly because compared to many people I have interacted with, I am completely normal. You probably are too. However, there are a few complete nut jobs out there that behave utterly outrageously. My first job was at Target and I once had a woman pay for over $30 in merchandise ENTIRELY with coins. Even though there was a Coinstar machine across the street. And my 16-year-old self was too dumbfounded and afraid of trying to tell her “no.” Target once assigned me to the chaotic “back to school” department days before school resumed, even though I had no previous experience in that department whatsoever. A child was throwing a tantrum about wanting certain supplies and his mother proceeded to smack him across the face. The smack was so loud that everyone turned around and gasped. It was awful. At another retail job there was a customer irate that he wasn’t being helped fast enough. We apologized for his inconvenience and he literally said, “I DO NOT accept your apology” and stormed out of the store. I had never heard anyone say that before. The next day his wife brought him back to the store and made him apologize to us.
Don’t even get me started about the terrible things people do in public bathrooms. Half the time the only response I can muster to scenes of chaos and foul destruction is “How?!” I won’t go into too much detail about that because I want to leave you with an appetite to make this pretzel crusted chicken.
What has been the craziest thing you’ve ever dealt with at a job? Or witnessed out in public?
I can only imagine the craziness of working at a restaurant. Luckily, though, you don’t have to go to a restaurant or bar to get good food. You are going to die over how amazingly crispy and crunchy this chicken is. You can totally flip out about it in the privacy of your own dining room.
Taste: Chicken + pretzels + cheese + beer? Heaven. You can really alter the flavor profile, too, depending on what beer or cheese you use.
Texture: This is the absolute best part of this dish. The chicken’s pretzel crust is SO incredibly crunchy and wonderful and is perfectly balanced by the cheesy sauce.
Ease: Easy enough! There are a few dirty dishes though.
Appearance: Just look at that pretzel crust. Mmmm.
Pros: Tasty spin on classic bar food.
Would I make this again? Oh yes.
How to make Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Cheesy Beer Sauce
Yield: 4 servings
For the chicken:
3 cups pretzels
1/4 cup flour
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
For the chicken:
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pretzels until finely ground with a few larger pieces still remaining. In a shallow dish combine the pretzels and flour.
Sprinkle chicken with pepper to taste and coat evenly with the mustard. Dredge the chicken with the pretzel mixture, pressing to adhere.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until well browned all over and 165°F internal temperature, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
For the sauce:
Prepare sauce while the chicken is cooking. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the beer, milk, mustard, and thyme and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until thickened. Add the cheddar cheese and heat until melted.
Divide the chicken between four plates and spoon sauce over chicken.
Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat
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