Chicken: Walnut Chicken with Heavenly Sauce

posted by Schmitty 02-01-100 12:45 PM

Walnut Chicken with Heavenly Sauce

16 (3 to 4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups (4 sticks) butter chilled, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken breast halves in large bowl or large baking dish. Add buttermilk; mix gently to coat chicken. Let stand 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 2 large shallow baking pans or line with foil.

In medium bowl, combine cornmeal, walnuts, salt, mustard, dried tarragon, black pepper and ground red pepper; mix well. Remove chicken from buttermilk; coat all sides of each chicken piece with cornmeal mixture, pressing in firmly so walnuts adhere to chicken.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; brown lightly on both sides. Place in buttered pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear.

Meanwhile in saucepan, combine maple syrup, lemon juice, shallot, fresh tarragon and nutmeg; mix well. Cook over medium heat about 15 minutes or until reduced by half.

With wire whisk, gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups of the butter. Remove from heat and beat in remaining 1/2 cup butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: I found best to let chicken rest after coating with cornmeal mixture at least 1 hour – I place it in refrigerator for that time.

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