|The red pepper strips add a delightful sweet crunch.|
This meal is actually a sleeper hit, and quick to prepare. We substituted pecans for walnuts, and cilantro for parsley. The cayenne spices things up a bit, so use a little less if you want it milder, or use a dollop or two of Greek yogurt to cut the (very mild) heat. You can serve this plain, but we loved it with toast triangles and a side of crispy Cesarean, er Cesar Salad. Also good the next day as a chicken sandwich filling, or in a pita roll with some fresh, crisp lettuce and juicy tomato.
2 skinless chicken breasts
4 T olive oil
4 tsp paprika
1 1/2 c chopped pecans
3 cloves garlic
2 T green onions, chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 T chopped cilantro or parsley
1 1/2 c chopped spinach
2 slices of wheat bread, preferably stale
1 quart of chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced
Bring the chicken stock to a low boil and add the chicken breasts, letting them simmer for about 10 minutes before removing from the heat. Heat the olive oil in a small pot, and add paprika. When you can smell the paprika strongly, turn off the heat.
Cut the bread into chunks and place in bowl. Pour 1-2 cups of chicken broth into the bowl and let it soak. In the meantime, reserve 1/2 cup pecans and set aside with green onions and 2 tablespoons of cilantro and the chopped spinach. Put the remainder of the pecans and cilantro into a food processor along with the garlic, cayenne, and the soaked bread and pulse repeatedly until it makes a thick, chunky paste. Add more chicken stock 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to loosen it up. Pour in the paprika in oil and pulse again until combines. Add salt if needed.
Shred the cooked chicken by hand or with a fork, and add the pecan-paprika paste, as well as the reserved pecans, green onions, and cilantro. Stir gently to combine. Add pepper and lemon juice to taste.