Quinoa-Crusted Chicken

recipe image

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Almost all of us have eaten chicken lightly coated with flour (and some seasonings) before sautéing. The flour keeps the chicken moist and gives it a nice light crust. I have found the perfect solution to the flour problem in: quinoa. For this use I prefer the fancy quinoa that is almost white. It gives a lovely crunch.


Cooking Methodpan-frying



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturecrisp, meaty


  • ½ cup chicken stock, fake chicken stock or sterile-pack
  • 1 cup whole, uncooked quinoa
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges


  1. Pour the chicken stock into a wide bowl. Set aside. Place the quinoa on a large flat dinner plate. Set aside.

  2. Place a chicken breast flat on a cutting board skinned side up. Cut in half down the middle. Turn each half over and pull off the- strip of flesh that is the chicken tender. Wrap the tenders in plastic wrap or foil. Set aside. Repeat with the other breast pieces.

  3. One half-breast at a time, put your palm flat on each piece. Slide a knife parallel to the cutting board through the chicken, resulting in two thin cutlets from each half-breast. There will be eight cutlets total.

  4. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil in a large pan over high heat until slightly blue but not smoking. In the meantime, dip both sides of two pieces of each breast into the stock. Then, one at a time, dip both sides of the breast pieces into the quinoa. Reduce the oil heat to medium and place a pair of chicken pieces next to each other in the hot oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until the flesh turns opaque. Move the cooked pieces to plates or a platter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Serve with the lemon wedges.

2011 Barbara Kafka


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