Pistachio Encrusted Chicken
With Mustard Dill Cream Sauce and 3 White Lies

Yes.  I do notice the irony.  The fact that yesterday’s post was a loving tribute to my new egg laying chickens.  While today’s post is a loving tribute to a pistachio encrusted chicken recipe.  Dear chickens:  the moral of this story is remember to lay eggs.

I don’t know about you but I don’t even really like chicken.  Especially a big, honkin’ chicken breast sitting on my plate.  Blech.  I can never get through the whole thing.  It always smells great and a roast chicken conjures up thoughts of the most delicious dinner in the world, but really I’m only interested in the crispy skin and the stuffing.

In fact, the only reason I eat chicken is to break up the red meat I long for and eat every other night.  Plus, apparently I overcook my chicken all the time which probably makes it somewhat less delicious than it could be.  I got this habit from my mother who doesn’t believe her chicken is completely done until it’s completely inedible.    Ditto for every other meat and the occasional Eggo.

In our house it isn’t “Honey!  Is dinner ready yet?”.  It’s “Honey!  Is the chicken overcooked yet?”.  True story.

I’ve partially solved both of my issues with chicken by slicing it thinly before cooking it.  It’s less grotesque to me that way, plus it cooks more evenly and quickly.

Having a good sauce don’t hurt none neither. ( Since I own chickens I will now sporadically talk hillbilly. )

So when this stupid, goofy, stupid, relentless, neverending, stupid meal plan I’m on had a chicken recipe I was none too impressed.  Then I made it, fell in love with it and decided to marry it.  True story.  We’re hitched.

It’s a pistachio encrusted chicken with a dijon mustard/dill sauce.  And you will love it too.  Unless you’re a weirdo.  No wait.  I’m a weirdo and I love it.  So … on second thought … if you’re a weirdo, you too will love it.

The best part is it’s easy.  Here we go!



Mustard Dill Sauce

1/4 cup Red Onion (minced)

1/2 cup Chicken Broth

1 ½ cups Whipping Cream (yep … the good stuff)

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1/4 Cup Fresh Basil

2 teaspoons dried dill weed


Chicken Breasts

Chicken Breasts (1 per person, sliced against the grain, thin)

1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Pistachios (shelled)

Whack of butter (4 Tablespoons or so)

Milk (1/2 cup or so)

Mustard Dill Sauce

Dice your 1/4 cup of Red Onion.


Add it to a saucepan with the 1/2 cup of chicken broth.

Simmer until liquid is almost gone.


Meanwhile, chop your 1/4 cup of fresh basil.



By now your broth should be reduced.  Like this.


Add your basil.


And your 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard.


Throw in the dill.  I mean, don’t endanger anyone but … chuck it in there.  With flare.  Like they do on cooking shows!  It’ll make you feel good.


Add the 1 ½ cups of Whipping Cream.

Simmer and reduce the sauce to one cup.  Season with salt and pepper.


O.K. I have a tiny confession to make here, explaining lie #1.  This whole recipe up to this point?  A bit of a lie.   The original recipe (which I’ve altered slightly) states that you’re supposed to reduce your onions, THEN add your whipping cream and reduce to 1 cup.  THEN add your basil, dill and dijon.

Heh heh.  Seems I did it a little backwards and added the basil and such at the same time as the whipping cream.  We ate it.  It was good.  We didn’t die.


Phew … now that that’s out of the way … crush your pistachios.  Don’t turn them into flour, they should be like bread crumbs.


Like this!


Add your 1/2 cup of Panko Breadcrumbs and mix together.  This is your breading.



Dip the chicken slices in the milk and then the crumb mixture.



Heat some butter in a non stick pan over medium high heat.




Once it’s good and hot but before the butter browns, drop the chicken pieces in the pan.  Don’t drop actually.  That’ll splatter.  “Place” the chicken pieces in the pan.

And why am I reminding you not to let your butter brown?  Because contrary to what this post would imply, I browned my butter.  A lot.  That butter up above is my second batch of melted butter, which I made sure not to brown.  So the above picture would be lie #2.


Cook the chicken on one side a few minutes, then flip them over ….



… and cook the other side.  Until they’re done.  I’m not giving you any time frame here because as was established in the beginning of this post, I’m a bit of a chicken overcooker.  Use your best judgement.  If need be, stick a knife in the middle of one of the pieces.  If it’s pink, it’s no done.  If it’s so cooked you need a pair of tin snips to cut into it … it’s cooked to Karen Perfection!



Plate it up and drizzle with the Mustard Dill Sauce.

I used this much Mustard Dill Sauce for the picture.  Then I put the plate on the table in front of me to eat for dinner and slathered it with another half cup of sauce. Allow me to introduce you to lie #3.


Oh. And the cauliflower? I didn’t eat it. Blech.  I don’t like cauliflower.  It sitting on my plate, as if I would ever eat it.  Is white lie #4.

Which brings us to my 5th. lie.  The fact that I said there were only 3 lies.  Consider yourself lucky, most of my posts probably contain 10 or 12 lies.  And regular bloggers probably hit somewhere around 25 – 30 on a good day.

The recipe is totally delicious!  That, I promise is not a lie.

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  1. My mom-in-law’s here from Australia this Christmas season and I’m always looking for something special to serve for dinner. I’m not nuts about chicken, either, but this recipe looks delicious. I’m making it tomorrow night! Thanks!

  2. Judy D. says:

    Hi Karen… As a result of your new website design (which I LOVE), I’ve been browsing different categories. I came across this recipe for Pistachio Encrusted Chicken
    With Mustard Dill Cream Sauce and want to give it a try. You have the ingredients listed in a way I can ‘copy and paste’ to a Word doc; however. the directions are spread out among the photos. Is there anyway you can send me the directions in a way I can ‘copy and paste’ somewhere? My e-mail address is listed above it’s that’s the easiest way. Thank yo so much. ~ Judy D.

  3. Oddly enough, I had smashed pistachios left over from another recipe, so this was a snap to make tonight. AND it was delicious! I had a spice blend called “Dash o’ Dill” from our Amish grocery store and I used several teaspoons of that and didn’t add the basil this time…though I regularly use basil in most everything. The sauce…sigh! Perfect! And it was great with the pistachio flavor on the chicken.

    Thumbs UP. Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Kristen! I’m glad you liked it! That’s funny! We just finished cleaning up after having this AGAIN for dinner tonight. It is good, isn’t it? Wait’ll I put up the Curried Chicken Salad recipe I have. Reallyyyy good. ~ karen

  4. Alyssa says:

    I’m glad you didn’t eat the cauliflower – ugh. I’m definitely going to have to try this, I even have pistachio’s in my pantry.

  5. Bryanna says:

    You crack me up!

  6. marné says:

    Do you think the sauce would be good on fish? I have some ahi tuna steaks in the fridge, and I like things to be saucey.

    My favorite way to cook chicken is to follow the Zuni Café Roast chicken recipe, it’s fool-proof and comes out perfectly moist and tender. I don’t think even you could over cook it.

    I also make it a rule not to eat chicken in front of my chickens. It just seems polite. So any summer meals consumed on the porch must be chicken-free.

    • Karen says:

      Marne – That is an excellent rule to live by. And I think the sauce would be delicious on tuna steaks. It’s just a really good, overall sauce. Mmmm. Eat by the spoonful kindda sauce. :) ~ karen

    • Karen says:

      By the way … I just went to your site for a quick look. Hellooooooooo time suck. Wow! The photo stuff alone is enough to take up a few nights and several bags of chips! Nice job. I’m off to download the Photoshop app right now. :) ~ karen

  7. Sarah P says:

    Whoa, the mustard-dill sauce looks great. The basil doesn’t overpower the dill? I’ll definitely be making that. (With vegan “cream;” I’m one of the few commenters who thinks glazed tofu and millet sounds good!)

    OH and don’t give up on cauliflower until you’ve tried roasting it–first toss with olive oil and salt if you’re trying to be all healthy, or with mayo if you’re not (it may need to be watered/oiled down a little to make it liquidy enough to toss), then roast it until everything is slightly browned. Optional: add curry powder when you toss.

  8. Oona says:

    This looks delish! I will be swiping it, but omitting the dill. Dill is my cauliflower… Blech.

    Where did you get your awesome mortar and pestle? I must have one.

    • Karen says:

      Oona – Thanks! My boyfriend – the perfect present buyer – bought it for me at a local kitchen store. I think it was around $25. ~ k!

  9. Mindy says:

    This sounds delish. I’ll have to give it a whirl. I, too, cannot bring myself to eat a slab of chicken breast. Ack. It must be pounded thinly or shredded for me to bring the fork to my mouth. I just posted one of my most favorite chicken recipes in the ENTIRE world (sounds dramatic doesn’t it?) the other day: http://rindymae.blogspot.com/2011/04/chicken-paillard-with-pecan-jicama.html

    You should try it. I mean, I’ll still stalk you if you don’t make it, but I feel the need to feed people. And since I can’t make it for you, at least I can offer up the directions. It will not disappoint. It’s SOOOOO good. And there is no cauliflower involved at all. :)

  10. Bill Grigg says:

    Cauliflower is GREAT! Slathered in CHEESE, that is…

    Stealing the pistachio chicken recipe, and quite shamelessly, too.

    However, I’ll pass on the glazed tofu and millet-anything. Don’t horses eat millet?

  11. Jeffrey Lee says:

    Funny this would be today’s post. Last night I fixed pistachio crusted chicken breasts for dinner. My recipe is sauceless and does not use Panko, milk or butter. So right away you can see how closely our recipes are to each other. Like twins seprated at birth really. I simply coat the breast with pistachio’s of varying grind. Some powdered, some larger pieces too. Then pan fry in olive oil over medium high heat until pistachio’s are browned on both sides then place it in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of the breast. for my wife and I it is like a healthy version of fried chicken. It is one of our favorite recipes when we aren’t eatting nachos, fried steak or Papa John’s pizza.

  12. Marcy says:

    Pistachios are manna from heaven. Looking forward to making this.

    Mainly, though, I want to know: is your nailpolish colour “Mist” from Joe? My trips to various Superstores in Winnipeg have been in vain because it’s always sold out. I’m ready to give up on my quest, but if you’re wearing “Mist” and it looks that good I will continue. Please advise. Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Marcy – Holy crap. You’re like some sort of nail polish semi-savant. It *is* Joe Fresh, but it isn’t Mist. It’s Cement. Wow. Now *I’m* gonna be on the lookout for Mist. If I find 2 bottles, I’ll mail one to ya. :) ~ karen

      • Marcy says:

        Ooh, “Cement,” how appropriate considering I wear nailpolish mainly in order to keep my nails from flaking apart. “Mist” is mint green. The name looks like a typo to me – why not just call it Mint?

        Once again, you’re the best.

  13. Donna says:

    I was thinking the same thing as Jennifer….what kind of meal plan is she on and where can I get it!? But only if it comes with more witty banter from you about anything….I am not picky really, and the white lies? Bring em on!

    • Karen says:

      Donna – Before you jump on the bandwagon, Sunday night’s meal is “Glazed tofu and millet-almond”. ~ karen

  14. Lindsay says:

    Totally making this, it sounds delicious. I would do a lot of things for pistachios. Also, just a thought about your inedible chicken issues – my life was totally changed the day I bought an instant read thermometer. 165 degrees and the chicken is perfectly moist and death-free.

    • Karen says:

      Lindsay – Um. Well … Yes. I have one of those. 2 of them in fact. I make a good steak! But chicken? Not always great. LOL. Yeah … doesn’t make a difference for me. I’ll just continue to slice the chicken thin. Works out all around. :) ~ karen

  15. magali says:

    how long are you going to stay on this meal plan for anyway?

    • Karen says:

      Magali – It’s 8 weeks. We’re in week 7 at the moment. I hate this meal plan. Don’t tell my boyfriend. Shhh. Tonight’s dinner for instance is “Tofu Laksa Lemak”. Huh? ~ karen

  16. Julie shinnick says:

    There is one obvious flaw to this recipe…… the pistachios would never make it to the being crushed stage! yum yum yum!!!!!!!!!

    Looks good and just don’t breath on your layers after eating this….it may turn into the movie ‘Birds’

  17. Saskatchewan Farm Girl says:

    K – as my name implies, I am truly a SK Farm Girl and not super tech savvy! How the heck can I post a picture for you (the reclaimed board barn) on the blog. Please, be patient with me – I build things, plant gardens, cook, bake and salvage almost everything know to mankind. BUT, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to send you the picture! Did I mention I can train horses, wrestle cows and rearrange my entire living room with just my little 5’7″, 120 lb self, but the picture eludes me :) LOL!

    • Karen says:

      Saskatchewan FG – Don’t be too embarrassed. It is a bit of a complicated process. Just post it to my Facebook page (You can become a “fan” by clicking on the “f” on the top right of this page. Or, send the picture to me at karen@theartofdoingstuff.com. How’s that? :) ~ karen

  18. Jennifer says:

    Okay, so the chicken looks delicious but what kind of fitness eating plan condones ladling 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream over chicken fried in a quarter cup of butter? Don’t get me wrong — this is a meal plan I could totally get behind. I’m just afraid my behind would suffer most of the consequences…

    • Karen says:

      Jennifer – I know! It’s not your average meal plan. To be fair, the Panko bread crumbs were the first carb-type thing we’ve been allowed. And this is the first bit of butter I can remember as well. Normally it’s Grapeseed oil No potatoes, no bread, no nothin. LOTS of protein. Ridiculous amounts of protein. Tonight’s dinner was hamburgers (with no bun). You’d be surprised at how good a hamburger still is if you put all your toppings on it but don’t have a bun. I was shocked! Of course cutlery is necessary which makes it less hamburgerish but still … it was good! ~ k

    • Jennifer says:

      P.S. I neglected to mention that this post is hilarious and am sure your chickens will recite the moral of this story every night before settling into their new, fancy, contemporary-yet-homey coop. Kinda like the Waltons.

  19. Kate S says:

    Looks yumbos! I’m not going to even bother telling you to just cook your chicken less or try cauliflower any special way, I remember the brussel sprouts episode. I felt bad that people kept ignoring you, I for one don’t like mushrooms… even the creamy ones that come on steaks, personally I feel like they ruined a perfectly fabulous slab of cow. So stand strong! Eat what you want! Unless some huge Crossfit trainer says otherwise, than eat what ever he tells you!


    • Karen says:

      Oh dear Kate. Thank you for understanding. I *know* someone is going to try to convince me how delicious cauliflower is, LOL. It’s innate. We all want everyone to love what we love. :) ~ karen

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