Nearly Reese Witherspoon’s Nut-crusted Chicken
“Hi. I’m Elle Woods and this is Bruiser Woods. We’re both Gemini vegetarians.”
-From Legally Blond – Bruiser Woods is her pink-coated chihuahua
I am a huge fan of the film, Legally Blonde; it’s entertaining, it’s enjoyable…it’s everything it says on the tin. And Reese Witherspoon plays the dipsy heroine, Elle Woods, perfectly – horrendous hamming at the beginning, but transforming herself deftly into a Harvard lawyer by the end of the piece. It’s a delightful pantomime. And it’s good to know that in real life the actress is a great supporter of charities that offer legal support to women and children.
When I read that Witherspoon had written a sort of autobiography, Whiskey In A Teacup, including lots a lavish lifestyle photographs, advice on how to curl your hair, or catch a toad with your bare hands (useful, apparently, where she grew up in Nashville) I was a bit underwhelmed. But was I being just as arrogant and superior as any of the stuck-up Harvard lawyers in Legally Blonde?
I discovered that she had also dotted a few recipes throughout her book and I thought I would take a look with an open mind.
One of the recipes, which looked very straightforward, involved enveloping chicken in a coating of chopped nuts, and this dish is inspired by that idea.
Recipe for nearly Reese Witherspoon’s nut-crusted chicken
For six people for lunch with a couple of salads
• 600g/1 lb 6 oz chicken breasts cut into 12 slivers
• 240 ml/1 cup mayonnaise (I use Dr Will’s – follow this link to find out why)
• 4 tbsps grainy mustard
• 8 tbsps Panko breadcrumbs
• 8 tbsps chopped (quite finely) pecans or walnuts
• 4 tbsps grated Parmesan
• Drizzle of walnut oil
• 1 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC.
2. Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard.
3. In a separate flat soupbowl mix the breadcrumbs, the nuts and the Parmesan.
4. Line a roasting tin with foil (saves on washing up).
5. On a chopping board lay out the chicken slivers. Use half the mayonnaise mixture to coat the exposed surfaces. of the chicken. Sprinkle over half the breadcrumb mix.
6. Move the chicken pieces to the roasting tin putting them coated side down.
7. Cover the newly exposed surfaces with the remaining breadcrumb mix.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes – the chicken should be cooked through and the nutty crust golden.
9. Serve, drizzled with a little walnut oil, together with lemon wedges.
Below you’ll see the official trailer for Legally Blond.