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Chicken Breasts with sage and black walnuts

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, pounded flat
  • 1 cup grated apple, Jonathan or other tart cooking apple
  • 1 cup black walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sage, fresh leaves or 2 teaspoons rubbed dried leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup Durkee Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Fresh sage for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In blender or food processor, grind black walnuts with sage, salt and pepper until black walnut pieces are 1/8 inch. Remove from blender and combine with grated apple to form a paste.

Spread 1/4 of the paste on the bottom of each chicken breast, covering evenly. Carefully roll each breast into a lengthwise roll and secure with a toothpick. Place toothpick down, in oven-proof skillet.

Generously coat rolls with Red Hot Sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and poach in the oven for 30 minutes or until the chicken rolls are cooked in the middle and browned on top. Remove breasts to a cutting board, and add 1/4 cup of the remaining broth to the skillet.

Reduce the pan drippings almost completely. Just as they are turning brown, add another 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and de-glaze the pan. Mix remaining broth with the flour (be sure it has no lumps) and stir into the skillet. Continue stirring over medium heat until the sauce is thickened and the flour taste has disappeared. Correct the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Carefully remove the toothpicks from chicken breasts and, holding them carefully, slice in 1/2-inch slices. Keep the roll intact as much as possible. Arrange cut rolls on a serving platter, fanning each roll so the black walnut filling will show.

Cover with foil and return to oven until chicken has regained its warmth. Just before serving, spoon sauce over each breast individually, and garnish with fresh herbs. Yield: 4 servings

Monday, November 25, 2002

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