Pretzel crumbs are the key to crispy, crunchy chicken cutlets that everyone will love. The homemade honey mustard sauce makes this Pretzel Crusted Chicken recipe even tastier.
If breaded chicken cutlets didn’t already resemble grown-up chicken nuggets enough, a big bag of Rold Golds is here to double-down on your childhood dinner fantasies. I’m talking golden brown, crisp, crusts and still-juicy interiors that will be a hit with toddlers, adults, and everyone in-between.
I actually started making a version of this recipe when I was in the in-between age range– it was one of the first recipes I ever made when I first started teaching myself to cook. (I think the original version may have been from Rachael Ray, though I’ve changed the recipe a lot over the years since then.)
Still, it wasn’t until recently that I realized I’ve never shared it here! Today I right that wrong.
So finally, here’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken, everybody.
(Oh, and the best Honey Mustard Sauce.)
HOW TO MAKE PRETZEL CRUMBS
The first thing you need for Pretzel Crusted Chicken is, of course, pretzel crumbs! There are a couple ways you can make them:
- Pulse the pretzels in a food processor, or
- Put the pretzels in a large ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin, meat tenderizer, or the bottom of a heavy pan
THE BEST HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE
You might be wondering, “Why should I make my own honey mustard sauce instead of just grabbing some from the condiment aisle?” But this honey mustard sauce? It’s creamy, tangy, sweet, and smooth– better than the kind from your favorite fast food joint or anything you’d get from a bottle.
All you have to do to make it is whisk together these ingredients:
- Dijon Mustard
- Lemon Juice
- Garlic Powder
Then taste and adjust as needed!
PREPARE THE CHICKEN
You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs to make great chicken cutlets!
No matter what cut of chicken you use, for good chicken cutlets, the chicken must be uniformly thin. For the best results, pound your chicken out to about 1/2″ thickness with a meat tenderizer. If using chicken breasts, depending on the size originally, you may want to cut them in half lengthwise first so they’re not as bulky.
Once the chicken is ready, you can bread it with your pretzel crumbs! Instead of using eggs as a binder, you can use some of the honey mustard sauce to adhere the crushed pretzels to the chicken. Be sure to separate the honey mustard sauce that you’re using as binder and the honey mustard sauce that you’ll be serving with– you don’t want to cross-contaminate with raw chicken.
FRYING OR BAKING
If you want truly crispy and juicy pretzel chicken cutlets, frying is the way to go. To fry, simply heat the oil in a high-walled skillet over medium-high heat, and it will take roughly 4 minutes per side for your chicken cutlets to cook through. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, and be careful when flipping so you don’t scrape off the pretzel crumbs.
However, if you want to avoid frying, baking is also an option. In order to help the crust to crisp up all over the chicken, don’t place it directly on your baking sheet. Instead, a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and spray the chicken all over with oil spray for extra crisping power. Then bake in a 400°F oven until cooked through– about 20 minutes or so.
HOW TO SERVE YOUR PRETZEL CHICKEN
Need inspiration for sides to serve with your pretzel chicken? How about:
- Roasted Potatoes
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Crispy Baked Carrot Fries
- Baked Mac N Cheese
- Spinach Salad
- Charred Broccoli Salad
And when plating, don’t forget to top things off with a generous sprinkle of coarse salt, some chopped parsley, and a drizzle of the remaining honey mustard sauce.
WATCH THE VIDEO
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup honey
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups salted pretzels
- Vegetable or canola oil (for frying)
- Coarse salt, to top
- Chopped parsley or chives, to serve, optional
- Using a meat tenderizer, pound out the chicken to approximately 1/2″ thick. If using larger chicken breasts, you may want to butterfly the breasts first for smaller cutlets. Set aside.
- Make the honey mustard sauce by whisking together the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, paprika, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Pour roughly half of the honey mustard sauce into a shallow dish and reserve the rest for serving.
- Put the pretzels in a food processor and pulse to crumb consistency. Alternatively, put the pretzels in a large sealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush into crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a second shallow dish.
- One at a time, coat each chicken cutlet in the honey mustard sauce and then the ground pretzels. Make sure the chicken is well coated. Set aside.
- If frying, preheat 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. If baking, see recipe notes.
- Add the pretzel chicken to the hot oil. Cook in batches until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Serve chicken with the reserved honey mustard sauce and chopped parsley, if desired.
While I suggest frying for best results, this chicken is still great when baked. If baking, preheat the oven to 400°F and place the chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spray generously with nonstick oil and bake until cooked through and crisp, about 20 minutes.