I almost never order a nut-crusted entree in a restaurant, as they often feature a sugary glaze or a too-sweet nut, like pecan or macadamia. That's not an issue here since we're going with buttery, subtly bitter walnuts, held on with a very savory 'nut glue,' made with a garlic and mustard base. This protective layer of deliciousness makes boneless, skinless chicken breast taste like it was just carved off a freshly roasted carcass.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
35 mins
additional:
1 hr 30 mins
total:
2 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
2 chicken breasts
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix garlic, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and thyme together in a bowl to make the "nut glue."

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  • Season chicken breasts generously with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Spread nut glue all over the chicken. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Toss walnuts over the chicken, press down firmly, and repeat on the other side to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 3 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • Coat the bottom of an oven-proof skillet with some olive oil. Place chicken breasts on top, reserving excess nuts if desired. Season with a pinch of salt and drizzle more olive oil on top.

  • Bake in the center of the preheated oven until walnuts are lightly toasted and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast reads 150 degrees F (66 degrees C), about 25 minutes.

  • Quickly remove chicken to a plate to rest. Transfer skillet to the stovetop; stir in broth, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and honey and bring to a boil over high heat; cook until reduced by about half, 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon pan sauce over and around the chicken to serve.

Chef's Notes:

You can prep the chicken hours ahead if you prefer.

Be careful taking the pan out of the oven and keep the handle covered with a towel or mitt at all times.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of walnut coating. The actual amount of coating consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

474 calories; protein 30.7g 61% DV; carbohydrates 13g 4% DV; fat 34.8g 54% DV; cholesterol 65.4mg 22% DV; sodium 523.5mg 21% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (13)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2020
Did not refrigerate. Did pound the chicken because the breasts were so large. Chicken was super moist and tasty. My husband said it was a hit! Read More
(5)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
05/15/2020
I made this exactly as stated in the recipe and my husband (who eats almost anything) and I did not like this at all. I am trying to find more heart healthy recipes, but the dijon mustard was not a seasoning I usually use..... am not likely to use again. Sorry, but I consider myself a really good cook.... this just didn't make the grade. I hope others have a different experience. Read More
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2020
Did not refrigerate. Did pound the chicken because the breasts were so large. Chicken was super moist and tasty. My husband said it was a hit! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2019
Wowza! I was looking for a new recipe to try with some chicken breasts and used the ingredients search tool. I didn't have to look far at all when I came across this recipe. Having a detailed video to watch is always a nice bonus... and your helpful tips are always appreciated! I loved that this recipe had few ingredients but maximum flavour and a neat method to "glue" the nuts to the chicken! The family really enjoyed it!! The only thing I might try differently next time is to cut the chicken breasts in 2 or 3 pieces before coating (which will likely require double the coating ingredients). Looking forward to making this again! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
02/15/2020
This recipe was recommended to me on YouTube and it's the one that introduced me to Chef John. I've made it more than once and it's really good. I also like the jokes and now I'm a big Chef John fan. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
01/08/2020
This chicken recipe was delicious and the sauce was great. I added some butter to the sauce with finely chopped, almost grated walnuts to add some thickness and flavor. I will defiantly be making again. *I didn't refrigerate cause I didn't have time* Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
08/01/2020
Made it without making any changes. Didn't care for the bitterness of the dijon, wasn't balanced enough by the sweetness of the honey. Chef John has come through on so many recipes for me, this one just wasn't one of them. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
08/28/2020
it was okay... not very crispy and not up to the "tastiness" of Chef John's amazing recipes... Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
11/05/2019
Well done Chef John well done Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/30/2020
This was amazing! In a fit of hunger,r and because I LOVE nuts, I doubled the nut glue/chopped nuts and coated both sides. My only hesitation is that the cooking time was a little off. I used chicken tenderloins and they didn't reach the 150° temp as quickly. But a short shot in the microwave solved that problem and dinner was on the table. I served this dish with Parmesan Green Beans and carrots and it. was.elegant! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
05/15/2020
I made this exactly as stated in the recipe and my husband (who eats almost anything) and I did not like this at all. I am trying to find more heart healthy recipes, but the dijon mustard was not a seasoning I usually use..... am not likely to use again. Sorry, but I consider myself a really good cook.... this just didn't make the grade. I hope others have a different experience. Read More
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