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Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Cheddar Mustard Sauce

Serves 4

Serve this tasty chicken with steamed cauliflower or broccoli, or try it with Oven-Roasted Broccoli. Rachael made this recipe at the 2009 South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Kidz Kitchen!


  • 4 gallon-size sealable plastic bags
  • 4 small, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bag salted pretzels, any shape, regular or whole wheat (5 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 pound sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a generous handful)
  • 1 large sour dill pickle, finely chopped


Pre-heat a large nonstick skillet with a quarter-inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle a little water into four gallon-size sealable plastic bags. Place one chicken breast in each bag and seal it up, pushing out the excess air. Use the bottom of a heavy pot or pan and pound each breast until flat, just shy of bursting out of the bag.  Repeat with the other three chicken breasts.   

Place the pretzels in a food processor or blender and grind until fine. Ask a grown-up helper (GH) for help with the food processor, if you need it.

Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish, then add the thyme and some salt and pepper. Crack and beat the two eggs with a splash of water in a second shallow dish. One at a time, coat each chicken breast in the egg and then in the ground pretzels.

Add the pretzel-coated chicken breasts to the hot oil. Ask a grown-up helper (GH) for help placing the chicken in the hot oil, if you need it. Cook the chicken in a single layer, in two batches if necessary, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned. 

While the chicken is frying, in a medium size saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour to it.  Cook the flour and butter for 1 minute and then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheese and mustard with a wooden spoon. Season the cheese sauce with a little salt and pepper, then remove it from the heat. 

Transfer the fried pretzel-crusted chicken breasts to a serving plate, drizzle with the mustard cheddar sauce, then sprinkle with a little parsley and the sour dill pickle. Serve with steamed cauliflower and broccoli.