Sweet, crunchy, and utterly addicting, these chicken strips are a healthier alternative to chicken fingers.
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.
If you like, thread chicken strips on bamboo skewers at the end of step four, before baking; soak skewers in water before using to prevent scorching.