Give chicken breasts or fish fillets a harvest touch with this recipe, which employs a pumpkin seed crust, adding flavor and nutrition.
It’s a great idea, but we must admit: We have no idea where this recipe came from. We found it in a drafts folder, without the attribution that we attach to all outside content. We searched the web and couldn’t find it; so we apologize to whomever sent it to us. Thanks: We love your recipe.
RECIPE: PUMPKIN SEED CHICKEN OR FISH
- 2 chicken breasts or 6-ounce fish filets
- 2 cups of panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups of pumpkin seeds
- 4 whole eggs beaten
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fine chopped oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
Pumpkin seeds-crusted chicken breast with sauteed carrot strips. Photo courtesy EatForYourLife.org, which has a gluten-free variation of the recipe that includes Parmesan cheese.
1. SLICE. Preheat the oven to 350°F for 10 minutes. Slice chicken breasts in half, width-wise. Pound down lightly until they are ¼ inch thick.
2. FILL. Fill 3 separate bowls with flour, eggs and the dry ingredients: panko, pumpkin seeds, salt, black pepper, chopped oregano and orange zest.
3. DIP: Coat the chicken breast with flour, then dip into beaten eggs, followed by a dip into the panko mix.
4. SAUTE. In a sauté pan, heat up the oil at medium heat. Lightly sauté the coated chicken breast until it reaches a golden color—about 1 minute on each side.
5. BAKE. Place the chicken breasts onto a sheet pan and cook it for an additional 10-15 minutes. If you are using fish, it requires just 5-10 minutes in the oven; or you may finish it in the pan.
6. SERVE with vegetable(s) of choice and a green salad tossed with whole pumpkin seeds. For a seasonal touch, add some pumpkin seed oil to the vinaigrette!
Pumpkin seeds (called pepitas in Spanish).
Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
ABOUT PUMPKIN SEEDS
Pumpkin seeds (called pepitas in Spanish) are flat seeds that lend themselves to a crust. They have a chewy texture and a subtly sweet, nutty flavor.
Pumpkins are indigenous to the Americas. Their use in medicine and cuisine traces at least as far back as the Aztecs, 1300-1500 C.E. The name “pepita,” which translates to “seed,” comes from Mexico, where Spanish settlers called them “pepita de calabaza,” “little seed of squash.”
Pumpkin seeds are available year-round: raw and shelled, raw and unshelled, roasted and shelled, roasted and unshelled. For recipes, choose unshelled seeds.
PUMPKIN SEED TRIVIA
- Pumpkins, other squash and gourds belong to the Cucurbitaceae botanical family, along with cantaloupe, cucumber and watermelon.
- Today, China produces more pumpkins and pumpkin seeds than any other country. Other major producers include India, Mexico, Russia, the Ukraine and the U.S.
- In the U.S., more than 100,000 acres of U.S. farmland are planted with pumpkins, in virtually every state. Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins, followed by California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New York.
HOW TO ROAST PUMPKIN SEEDS
It’s easy and fun to roast your own pumpkin seeds, using your seasonings of choice (salt, garlic salt, chile powder, etc.) You can also buy organic raw pumpkin seeds in bulk.
1. PREPARATION: If you’re using seeds straight from the pumpkin, first wipe them off with a paper towel to remove excess pulp. Spread them out evenly on a paper bag or paper towel and let them dry overnight.
2. PREHEAT the oven to 160°-170°F (75°C). Place the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Season as desired.
3. ROAST for 15 minutes, but for no longer than 20 minutes. (After then, the heat engenders a negative change in the healthful pumpkin seed fat structure.)
MORE WAYS TO SERVE PUMPKIN SEEDS
- Sprinkle on salads, grains and vegetables.
- Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your favorite hot or cold cereal.
- Add pumpkin seeds to your oatmeal raisin cookie or granola recipe, carrot or zucchini cake.
- Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing or bread dipper.
- Add ground seeds to ground meat for burgers or meat loaf (including veggie burgers).