Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Walnut Chicken Strips with Rosemary Cider Sauce

Main Dishes

I was a really picky eater growing up, like sort of embarrassingly picky looking back…but I was always up for chicken strips or nuggets. In fact, even if they weren’t on the menu, I’d do my best to find a way to order them. At Chinese restaurants, for example, I would order sweet and sour chicken without the sauce and dip the fried chicken pieces in ketchup – yep, I was that kid. In high school, I always inhaled a plate of chicken tenders with my girlfriends at our favorite hangout, T.G.I. Friday’s. And even though I enjoy just about every kind of cuisine now, I still love chicken strips, and recently decided it was finally about time to make a grown-up version at home!

I coated my chicken strips with ground walnuts and bread crumbs. While they were baking in the oven, I whipped up a fall-inspired dipping sauce with apple cider. I stuck a spring of rosemary in the juice and simmered it on the stove under it reduced a bit. Then I added in some mascarpone cheese and a roux of butter and flour to thicken it up. The sweet sauce complimented the walnut flavor really well! I served the meal with some roasted butternut squash, but I think sweet potato fries would be even better!

Walnut Chicken Strips with Rosemary Cider Sauce
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Walnut Chicken Strips:
1 1/2 cups walnuts, pulsed in the food processor until finely ground
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into strips (I had 4-5 per chicken breast)
3 eggs, beaten

Rosemary Cider Sauce:
1 cup apple cider
1 small sprig of rosemary
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
To make the chicken strips, heat oven to 350˚F. Mix ground walnuts, bread crumbs, and salt in a shallow pan. Put the flour in a shallow dish and lightly dredge both sides of the chicken in it. Place the beaten eggs in another shallow dish and dredge both sides of the flour coated chicken in the egg mixture; place chicken in the walnut mixture and coat well on all sides. Place coated chicken strips in a greased 13×9-inch baking dish and bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the apple cider and rosemary sprig in a small pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Strain mixture into a small bowl and whisk in mascarpone cheese until smooth. Heat butter over medium high heat in a small pan until melted. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook one minute or until mixture starts to brown. Add in apple cider mascarpone cheese mixture and salt and whisk until smooth. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture thickens, whisking constantly. Serve sauce with chicken strips. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 591 calories, 33.2g fat, 2.7g fiber, 47.3g protein per serving
Cost: $1.58 per serving

BBQ Chicken Tacos

I tune everything out when I’m reading, which can be a good or bad habit depending on the situation. Good because I can read in any environment and not get distracted, but bad for the same reason because I keep missing my bus stops! I have a 45 minute commute, and...

French Onion Phyllo Squares

Sometimes you have to milk an idea for all it's worth. My French Onion Mac & Cheese is by far the most popular recipe on my blog, so I was recently thinking about what other way I could highlight the same flavors. How about layers of flaky crispy phyllo dough...

Citrus Glazed Salmon

When I got home from New Orleans this week, I found 3 salmon fillets that my hubby had defrosted in the fridge. Apolinaras is a great cook and loves to grill and throw meals together with whatever is laying around. Because he doesn’t ever follow recipes or write...

Pecan and Coconut Crusted Tilapia over Tropical Rice

Before we left for Florida over the holidays, I tried to strategically plan our meals to use up every last bit of food of in the fridge. It’s always so sad having to throw out spoiled ingredients when you get back! We also scrubbed the fridge and rest of our apartment...

Mexican Polenta Rounds

I just got back from San Diego, where I attended a conference for work. The days were packed with lectures and the hotel was a bit isolated on Coronado Island, so I didn’t actually get to spend any time sightseeing. Good thing I’ve already been to San Diego a couple...

French Onion Mac & Cheese

Umm, so if you’re watching your weight, you may want to click back to the last page you viewed right about now.... I tend to cook healthy dishes most of the time, but decided to go all in on this one and it was so worth it! I was in the mood for some comfort food this...

Salmon over Coconut Broth with Baby Bok Choy, Snow Peas, and Mushrooms

I have to admit that even though I consider myself a “foodie,” sometimes hearing about the local/organic food debate tires me out. Ideally, we’d all get all our food from farmers in our state who use no pesticides, right? But it’s not really economical for most people...

Southwestern Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese

Can you believe I never had mac & cheese growing up? I was actually first introduced to the blue box in college by my good friend Susie. We lived together the summer in between our sophomore and junior years and used to come home from our respective labs during...