May 16, 2014

Moroccan Hummus & Pine Nut Crusted Chicken


We have quite the weakness for hummus.  It's a staple in our house, and it's pretty simple to make at home.  Simply process garbanzo beans (chickpeas), tahini, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor until creamy.  You can add cumin, paprika, and/or lemon juice if desired, too.  Hummus is great as a substitute for butter, dips, dressings, and mayonnaise because it's super flavorful and creamy, it's lower in calories (comparatively speaking), and it's packed with lots of vitamins and nutrients.  

I decided to incorporate hummus into a Moroccan-style chicken dish for dinner last night.  The chicken breasts were slathered in creamy hummus, seasoned with Moroccan spices, and baked in a delightful pine nut crust.  Healthy, flavorful and delicious!  I served this over smoked paprika & garlic rice.



Ingredients:


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied to 1/2-inch thickness 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 c prepared hummus, homemade or store-bought

Moroccan Pine Nut Crust:

  • 1 c pine nuts, coarsely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped 
  • 2 large cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger 
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste 


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Spread thin, even layer of hummus on all sides of the chicken breasts.  

In a small bowl, combine the pine nuts, sesame seeds, parsley, mint, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, smoked paprika, ginger, and cayenne.  Evenly press the pine nut mixture on all sides of the chicken. 

Place the chicken breasts on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.  

Garnish with parsley.  Serve over rice.

Enjoy!


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