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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chicken Braised in Walnut Sauce

As you can tell from some of my previous pictures, I am not a professional photographer!  Heck, the lighting in our house is so bad that if you don't take a picture during the day when the sun shines through the windows, the pictures end up looking either gray or yellow.  Every once in a while, though, I get the good shot. Not great, but good.. I think this one is one of those.  A picture really does make all the difference.  The first time I came across this recipe on, I wasn't all that impressed with how it looked.  Even though the ingredients didn't sound like it would be bad, I'm one of those people that if it doesn't look that good, it must not taste that good, so I never did try the recipe.  Back in September, though, I came across this same recipe but on The Sister's Cafe website and they made it look yummy enough that I was willing to give it a shot.

Chicken Braised in Walnut Sauce is a Persian dish.  For those of you that are not aware, walnuts contain omega 3-fatty acids.  Omega 3-fatty acids are known to help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease.  I tried to cut some of the fat and calories from the dish by using boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  The original recipe calls for chicken breasts with the skin on.  I don't think that it hurt the taste of the dish at all.

I really liked the flavor combination of this recipe.  It had this sweet, nutty flavor and then a kick at the end due to the cayenne pepper.  If you are not into spicy foods, add a little cayenne at a time.  The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon, so start of with just 1/8 of teaspoon and then taste it.  It's so much easier to add more of something into your dish then it is to take it out!

Chris and I had different opinions on this meal.  Chris said he couldn't get passed the texture that the walnuts created in the dish, whereas, I actually thought that the walnuts added to the dish BECAUSE of the texture it gave it.  So you will have to decide for yourself on whether you want to try this or not, but my recommendation is, give it a shot, I don't think you will be disappointed!

Chicken Braised in Walnut Sauce 
Adapted from & The Sister's Cafe 

2 tsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup finely chopped onion (I put the onion in my food processor to get it really fine)
1 clove of garlic, minced  
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 Tbls flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne (if you don't want it too spicy, add to taste)
1 (14oz) can chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbls white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups of cooked rice (optional)

In a small bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat.  Cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.  Remove from pan.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender, stirring constantly. Add the walnuts and cook one minute or until toasted and fragrant, stirring constantly.  Sprinkle flour mixture over walnuts, stirring to coat.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth.  Return chicken to the pan.  Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Serve over rice.  Enjoy! (Makes 4 servings) 

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