Before we get to this week’s recipe for Cranberry Dijon Pretzel Chicken, let me bestow on you some advice you’ve undoubtedly tuned out before.
A lot of us has probably had the phrase, “This too shall pass” unsolicitedly thrown at us. It’s good solid advice, but no one wants to hear that crap. Ideally whatever blight you’re dealing with won’t eventually pass, but be gone. Effective immediately.
Well, for those of you struggling with any sort of kid distress, I have some sage advice for you.
This too shall pass.
Turns out people say this because it actually happens. I am now the all-knowing enlightened one because Elliot is finally pooping on the potty. Holla.
This milestone may be inconsequential to you, but no parent is immune to fretting over their children. If you’re lucky, they will simply abandon any annoyance before the self-help books leave Amazon’s warehouse. If they’re putting you through the ringer a little longer, though, you’ll just have to pull on your big kid pants and be the adult who waits it out.
Elliot’s recent 180 has made me reflect on all the times I’ve worried about my kids, and it all just magically worked itself out. They will never give up their pacifier. They’ll never learn to walk. I don’t think their throats can swallow solid food. They’ll want to sleep in bassinet all the way through elementary school. They will always assume the rigor mortis position when going in a carseat. They’ll never stop wandering into my room all hours of the night.
Turns out my kids have accomplished all these things, but not without a whole lot of freaking out from me first.
Even with my newfound epiphany, do you think I won’t go a little overboard next time my kids exhibit some sort of trying behavior? Not a chance in hell. I will try my best, though, to exercise our family motto, “don’t make a biggie out of a no biggie.” At least that’s what I’ll feign on the outside – it’s all good in the hood, and pray they follow suit.
So now, back to what you’re going to make for dinner while dealing with whatever you are trying to currently wait out. Just because this Cranberry Dijon Pretzel Chicken looks all fancy pants, doesn’t mean it’s hard to pull off on a weeknight. Only a handful of ingredients are required, it can easily be prepared ahead of time, if need be, and is easily adaptable for a variety of fillings. Enjoy your family dinners (or at least, begrudgingly make it happen) while you can because, this too shall pass.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 6 slices bacon
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp. honey*
- 3 tbsp. dijon mustard*
- 1 cup finely crushed pretzels, regular or gluten free
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Cook bacon using whatever method you prefer until just about done and crisp. I line a microwave safe plate with paper towels, place the bacon on top, cover with another paper towel, and cook on high for about 6-7 minutes. Bacon should be nearly crisp, but still pliable to roll up with chicken.
Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap on a cutting board, and using a meat mallet, flatten uniformly, about ¼ - ½ inch thick. Season each piece with salt and pepper.
Cut each bacon slice in half (for 12 total) and lay 3 slices horizontally over each chicken breast.
In a small bowl combine cranberries, honey, and dijon*. Sprinkle the dressed cranberries evenly over bacon slices on top of chicken, reserving 2 tbsp. of the honey dijon mixture to brush over the chicken.
Fold in the short sides and roll up the chicken from the long edge. Secure with toothpicks or baking twine. Brush the rolls with the remaining honey dijon mixture on all sides.
Place finely crushed pretzels in shallow dish and coat the chicken all over. Place chicken rolls on prepared baking sheet and spray the chicken with some more cooking spray to give a crisp crust.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, rotating pan ½ though. It is done when chicken is no longer pink and registers 170ºF. Be careful to remove all toothpicks or twine, slice, and serve with additional honey mustard, if desired.
**You can prepare the chicken spirals ahead time, bread with pretzels, and store loosely covered in refrigerator until ready to bake. I've done this several hours ahead of time, and it still turns out great.