Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I enjoy crusting things. Ooh, that sounds a bit icky. What I love is the crunchy texture and bonus flavor of a crusted piece of fish or chicken. I brought chicken tenderloins home to make something completely different, I don’t even remember what, it’s time will come. But as I was going through some food blog subscriptions, I came upon this recipe. I had walnuts and even walnut oil. We have a rosemary plant out on the deck. Change of plans!

The original recipe called for chicken breasts, but I used the tenderloins I had on hand. I increased the amount of walnuts because I wanted to coat both sides of the chicken and didn’t want to run out of the coating. I also added some panko bread crumbs just to stretch it out a bit.

It was delicious and very satisfying. One word of warning, if you want to brine the chicken, make sure you allow an additional hour to do that. 

Walnut Rosemary Chicken | Grabbing the Gusto

I love walnuts! (photo by Timothy Vollmer)

Walnut Rosemary Crusted Chicken

You’ll need a large bowl, baking pan, food processor, shallow bowl or plate.

  • 1-3/4 pounds chicken tenderloins (or breasts)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (or 2 sprigs)
  • 2 medium (at a minimum) cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs — I used panko)
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • salt and pepper

If you decide to brine the chicken, fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in salt until mostly dissolved. Place chicken in bowl and chill in refrigerator about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a glass or ceramic baking pan.

In a food processor, finely chop walnuts, rosemary and garlic. Dump into a shallow bowl or plate and mix in the breadcrumbs.

Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Dredge each piece in the walnut mixture, coating both sides. Place chicken in single layer in prepared pan. Drizzle with walnut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake until light golden brown and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes, longer if you’re using chicken breasts. I’m really bad at figuring out when meat is done. I poke it but no longer remember what the cushiness levels mean. Yeah yeah, I know I can use an instant-read thermometer, and I do that for giant pieces of meat, but for a skinny tenderloin?

Original recipe: Walnut Rosemary Crusted Chicken, All Day I Dream About Food

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