Panko-Crusted Chicken Bites with Apricot-Mustard Sauce
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup apricot jam or preserves
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fit with a wire rack. Spray with cooking spray; set aside.
Place flour in a large bowl and season very generously with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs in another large bowl with 2 tablespoons water until well combined. Place the breadcrumbs in a third large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat. Stir in cheese and cayenne and mix well.
Place chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and toss to coat. Working in 3 batches, shake off any excess flour from chicken pieces and transfer to egg mixture; stir to combine. Transfer coated chicken pieces with a slotted spoon to the breadcrumb mixture and toss until completely coated. Place the breaded chicken pieces on a rack-lined baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Repeat process until all the chicken is breaded. Bake until golden brown and chicken is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir the apricot jam, mustard, and thyme together until combined. Allow chicken to cool 10 minutes before serving with apricot mustard mixture.