Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Walnut Chicken

So I lack a clever title today. But the food's good!

Walnut Chicken (sorry, there's no pictures: we ate it all!)

1 red onion
4 small-med size chicken breasts
2-3 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup flour, plus a little extra
1/2 cup walnuts, pulverized!
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
generous pinch ground black pepper (the fresher, the better)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. plum sauce


1. Halve your onion and slice it thinly. Set them to carmelize in a pan with a bit of cooking oil or olive oil, stirring occassionally so they don't burn. You want to get them nice and brown with "crispy bits" - they'll get soft and the very strong onion flavor will cook out. Set another pan with a bit of oil on the burner to get hot - you want it hot before dropping the chicken in.

2. While your onions are going, set up three dishes: one with the extra flour, one with melted butter, and one with the 1/2 cup flour, walnuts, parsley and pepper tossed together. Lightly coat the thawed chicken in the flour, then the butter, then press in the walnut mixture and place in the pan.

I have a disclaimer to make: I haven't figured out proper breading yet! My breading will have no trouble browning up and sticking to itself, I just can't get it to stick to the chicken. Maybe I need to use skin-on chicken, maybe I need to use eggs instead of butter... ???

3. So, anyway, the theory is you can brown the chicken in the pan, and then move it straight to a preheated oven (350 should do it). Getting really nice pans that can go in the oven is AWESOME and totally worth it. Plus you have less dishes to do.

4. Once you move the chicken to the oven (don't forget to swish your onions around once in awhile), dump the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and turn it on high heat. Boil it until it's reduced by half - and be careful to not stick your face directly over the pot unless you want seriously cleared-out sinuses. Once that's accomplished, whisk in the mustard and plum sauce.

5. To plate, roughly divide your onions in four parts. Place a layer of onions on the plate, topped with chicken, and drizzle with the balsamic sauce. Usually I serve it with couscous and either carrots or asparagus. Fresh asparagus with a little parsley butter is especially nice.

I need a catchphrase.

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