Walnut Crusted Chicken with Chipotle Honey - strips of chicken coated with toasted walnuts, baked to crispy perfection, and drizzled with spiced honey.
Chicken is frequently on the dinner menu in our house, and chicken tenders are always a favorite. These honey walnut chicken tenders are a winner... with a crispy walnut crust and chipotle honey for dipping. This chicken is sweet, spicy, crispy, and nutty - all in one bite.
Honey walnut chicken is baked, not fried, and will be on the table in less than 40 minutes. We love crispy chicken for an easy weeknight meal.
Chicken - Tenders or strips bake up quickly and are fun to eat! If you have chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise to create strips. If using whole boneless chicken breasts, allow additional baking time for the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Walnuts - Toasted walnuts provide a flavor-packed crispy coating for the chicken. Pecans, almonds - even pistachios - are also delicious options. Toasting the walnuts enhances their flavor. Add panko breadcrumbs for the ultimate crispy coating.
Seasoning - Season the breading mixtures with ancho chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Spiced honey - Chipotles in adobo sauce add just the right amount of spice to this honey dipping sauce. Add as much or as little spice as you like. For extra spicy palettes, add some minced chipotle peppers along with the adobo sauce. If spicy isn't your thing, make a honey mustard sauce by adding some Dijon mustard instead.
What are chipotle chilis in adobo? Chipotles are smoked and dried jalapenos. Adobo is a sauce of tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, and spices. A can of chipotles in adobo can be found in the Latin aisle of most supermarkets. I like to puree a can of chipotles in adobo and keep it the refrigerator for adding to dressings, sauces, soups, etc.
Breading - Use separate hands for the wet and dry ingredients. Use one hand to dredge the chicken in the flour. Then, switch hands to dip the chicken in the egg wash. Then use the dry hand to coat the chicken in the walnut/panko mixture. Alternatively, use tongs to dip the chicken in the breading components.
Olive oil spritz - Spray or brush the chicken with olive oil before baking to help create the crispy crust. Don't skip this step!
Use a thermometer - to ensure proper doneness, check the internal temperature of the chicken with an instant-read thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees.
- Honey walnut chicken is delicious as a main dish - just add roasted potatoes, rice, or pasta and a green salad.
- Add the chicken to a salad for the ultimate crispy chicken salad.
- Serve on a toasted bun with lettuce and tomato for a crispy chicken sandwich.
- Use bite-size pieces to make popcorn chicken and serve as a snack or appetizer.
More delicious chicken recipes to try
- Cap’n Crunch Chicken Tenders
- Easy Grilled Chicken
- Easy Baked Pizza Chicken
- Chicken with Cordon Bleu Sauce
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Blue Cheese Sauce
- Sheet Pan Bacon Ranch Chicken
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Walnut Crusted Chicken with Chipotle Honey
- 1 ¼ pounds chicken tenders
- ¾ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- olive oil (for spritzing the chicken)
- ½ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon chipotle in adobo (or to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Heat a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and stirring frequently, toast for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat to cool.
- Add the cooled walnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse in 10-second intervals until the walnuts resemble crumbs. Transfer to a shallow dish.
- To the walnut crumbs, add panko and ¼ teaspoon each ancho chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- In another shallow dish, add the flour and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each ancho chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- In a third shallow dish, add the egg and water. Whisk to combine.
- To coat the chicken, dredge each strip of chicken in the flour, coating all sides. Next, dip the chicken in the egg wash. Then, coat the chicken with the walnut mixture. Transfer the chicken to the prepared pan. Spritz the chicken with olive oil to help crisp the coating.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Meanwhile, add the honey and chipotle in adobo to a small pan and heat through.
- To serve, drizzle the chicken with honey and serve the remaining honey on the side.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.