Walnut Chicken Strips with Pomegranate Sauce
Sweet, crunchy, and utterly addicting, these chicken strips are a healthier alternative to chicken fingers.
- Servings: 12
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2002
For the chicken strips
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable oil
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds (1 large pomegranate)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the chicken strips: On a work surface, place chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using smooth side of a meat mallet, flatten to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 1/2-by-3-inch strips.
Place walnuts, flour, salt, cinnamon, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until finely chopped and well combined; transfer to a shallow bowl. Pour cream into another shallow bowl.
Dip chicken strips in cream with one hand, letting excess drip off; using your other hand, dredge in flour mixture, turning to coat both sides, and tapping off excess. Place on a baking sheet.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken strips; cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Wipe skillet with paper towels, and repeat with remaining chicken, adding 2 tablespoons oil with each batch.
Transfer baking sheet with chicken to the oven, and bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt butter in a clean skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and walnuts, and cook until shallots are tender and nuts are golden, about 2 minutes. Add wine; cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add 1 1/4 cups chicken stock, and pomegranate juice and molasses. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup chicken stock and flour until well combined. Stir into sauce, and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute more. Stir in pomegranate seeds, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with chicken strips.