Thursday, December 27, 2012

Maple-Walnut Chicken with Sweet Potato Aioli

For Chanukah this year my father bought me the book Kosher by Design: Short on Time which he had seen at a relative's house a few months ago and kept in mind to give me.  It is exactly what it sounds like - a kosher cookbook with recipes that don't take too long to make.  When I got home, I thumbed through it and made mental notes about which ones I wanted to try out.

One that immediately jumped out at me was the Maple-Walnut Chicken.  It sounded like the perfect mix of sweetness with the chicken.  And it comes with a sweet potato aioli, so what's not to love about it?!  We had this with brussels sprouts to add in a little more veg to our meal.  This was simple to make.  While there was a bit of measuring to be done, there was no real chopping, etc to get this ready, which always adds on a lot prep time.

I made a few minor adjustments on this.  First off, the recipe calls for canned sweet potatoes. thank you!  Maybe it would have shaved a few minutes off my cooking time, but I feel no need to use canned veggies when I can go out to the store and pick it up fresh.  I also halved the recipe (no need for 6 pieces of chicken for the two of us) and I found that halving the panko/maple syrup ratio for the crust didn't have the right consistency, so I upped the amount of syrup.

This was seriously delicious.  I was a little jealous when my husband brought the one extra piece for lunch today.  He ended up eating it cold (he seems to have an aversion to using his office's microwave) but I would recommend heating it up after.

Maple-Walnut Chicken with Sweet Potato Aioli (slightly adapted from Kosher By Design: Short on Time)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
freshly ground pepper
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 cup panko
2 sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp mayonaise
1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.
- Place a chicken breast smooth-side down on a cutting board.  Lift up the tender and if necessary, make a cut to form a long pocket.  Repeat with the remaining breasts.
- Stuff each pocket with 1 tbsp walnuts and drizzle 1 tsp maple syrup.  Close up the pocket.  Place pocket-side down on prepared pan.  Repeat with remaining breasts.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl combine the vegetable oil, Dijon mustard and thyme.  Brush eat cutlet with this mixture.
- Bake for about 18 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- While the chicken is baking, pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork.  Place on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 6 minutes.  If it is not yet tender, cook for additional time.  Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup maple syrup and panko to make a paste.
- After the chicken is baked, remove from the oven and spoon and press on the panko paste to form a crust.  Turn the oven to broil, return the chicken to the oven and broil 6-8 inches from the heat source for 3 minutes, until crust is golden-brown.
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half and scoop the insides into a bowl.  Using a fork, mix in the light-brown sugar.  Whisk in the mayonnaise and 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup.
- Serve each cutlet with a dollop of the aioli.

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