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

Indian Spiced Chicken and Potato Cakes

Whew, what a week! We moved and are finally mostly unpacked, although the guest bedroom is still a bit of a disaster and we need to go shopping for a few accessories (rugs, mirrors, etc). The most important room is completely organized and fully functional already...

Ancho Honey Chicken over Tropical Rice

My younger brother went through a phase when he was about five where he was obsessed with cantaloupe. I remember him easily downing four or five slices at a time, which I didn’t really understand since I was such a picky eater. In fact, I used to regularly make fun of...

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese Sauce

This pasta has Apolinaras’ name written all over it. I guess you could call him my muse from time to time. He looooves mushrooms and was so happy when I encouraged him to go ahead and put the pricey fresh shitakes in the grocery cart the other day. When I told him I...

Flank Steak with Red Wine and Tamarind Sauce

Ah yes, it’s finally time to share my very first beef recipe! We don’t eat a huge amount of red meat, but every once in awhile a serious craving strikes and I just have to devour a juicy burger or steak. I only recently began cooking steak at home though because I was...

Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Well it’s somehow November, which I’m in denial about, but the good news is that it’s finally time to share squash recipes! I actually buy winter squash out of season occasionally (yep, I’m a bad food blogger...) because sometimes I crave it even in the middle of the...

Shrimp Tacos with Corn Salsa

There are some things I never pass up and one of them is corn on the cob. I will eat it anytime, anywhere, even if I don’t have any floss with me. The deliciousness is definitely worth having a few annoying pieces stuck in my teeth! Of course, fresh summer corn is...

Pecan Crusted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

I’m on the hunt for new chicken recipes. We’ve been eating more poultry than usual lately due to my hubby’s weightlifting diet. While I haven’t joined him in slurping down protein shakes and chowing down on egg whites every morning, I try to keep things interesting...

Peanut Sauce Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

My hubby found the lid of our food processer in the recycling today. How in the world did it get in there?!? Luckily he noticed it before emptying our bin on the curb and disaster was avoided. I haven’t gotten enough sleep this week, and apparently it caught up with...