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Sesame-Lemon Chicken with a Crisp Phyllo Crust

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Serves six.

These breasts have a crinkly, golden phyllo crust and a nutty flavor from the toasted sesame seeds.

For the chicken and marinade:
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg white
For the coating:
  • 4 sheets phyllo dough (defrosted completely in the package; don't open the box until ready to use)
  • 4 Tbs. melted butter; more butter for the baking sheet
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
For the marinade

Rinse the chicken breasts, pat them dry, and make a few slashes in each. Combine the marinade ingredients in a nonreactive bowl and add the chicken. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To coat and cook the chicken

Heat the oven to 450°F and butter a baking sheet. Butter a sheet of phyllo, top with another sheet, butter that and repeat with the other two sheets. Cut the phyllo stack into 6 equal strips. Follow the directions in the photos for wrapping the breasts and dipping the ends in the seeds. Set the prepared breasts on a buttered baking sheet and roast them until crisp, browned, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sesame-Lemon Chicken with a Crisp Phyllo Crust Recipe
Remove a breast from the marinade and let some of the marinade drip off. Lay the breast at one end of a strip of phyllo and roll it up, leaving the ends exposed.
Sesame-Lemon Chicken with a Crisp Phyllo Crust Recipe
Dip both ends of the chicken into the sesame seeds to coat. Put the breast, phyllo seam down, on the buttered baking sheet; repeat with other breasts. Brush the tops of the phyllo with butter before roasting.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 440; Fat (g): fat g 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 8; Protein (g): protein g 38; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 20; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 580; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 115; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Ben Fink

I think this would be better with a longer marinating time- the flavors didn't really meld with the chicken. The phyllo looks dressy but doesn't add much to the flavor and it was hard to get the sesame seeds to coat thickly on the ends. I may try it again and use thicker Greek phyllo and marinate the meat for at least a day.

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