1 cup shelled pecans
1 cup pretzel pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch, or potato starch
1 teaspoon granulated garlic, or about 1/3 palmful
1 teaspoon granulated onion, or about 1/3 palmful
1 teaspoon dry mustard, or about 1/3 palmful
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika, or pimenton (about 1/3 palmful)
1 cup flour
3 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied open and pounded to 1/8 inch
Frying oil, such as safflower, peanut or canola
For the Drizzle
1/2 cup grainy Dijon, or Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, picked
To serve, optional
1 small head iceberg lettuce, cored, quartered and shredded
Finely chopped dill, parsley and chives
Cheddar cheese curds, or small crumbles of extra-sharp cheddar
Chopped dill, or bread-and-butter pickles
In a food processor, combine the nuts and pretzels, finely chop into crumbs, then place in shallow dish. Add cornstarch and spices and toss to combine. Arrange a breading station of flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs with nuts. Season the flour with salt and pepper and beat the eggs with Dijon. Season chicken and coat with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, then place on wire rack-lined baking sheet.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat about 1/8 inch oil. When it ripples, cook 2 pieces of chicken at a time, 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally and removing to clean wire rack to drain; repeat. Cutlets can be held in 275˚F oven to keep warm and crisp if not serving immediately.
For the drizzle, in a small pot, heat mustard, syrup, hot sauce and thyme over low heat to a gentle simmer.
Serve cutlets on a bed of a quarter head of shredded iceberg lettuce with a generous drizzle of maple-mustard and garnish with herbs, cheese curds and pickles.