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Published: Monday, 12/10/2007

Garlic and Walnut Crusted Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Seeds

6 cloves garlic

1 cup toasted walnuts, lightly chopped

cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon chopped parsley and thyme

cup unsalted butter, soft

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1 pound fresh spinach

cup fresh Brussels sprouts, slit in half lengthwise

2 leeks, whites only, sliced into thin rings

6 chicken breasts

1 pomegranate, seeds only, optional

Mince garlic. Add butter and herbs. Process until smooth, then stir in bread crumbs and walnuts. Reserve.

In a heavy-bottom ovenproof pan, swirl just enough olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Place chicken breast in pan, skin side down and cook until skin is golden brown. Place pan in 350-degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes until juices run clear when pricked with tip of knife.

Meanwhile, cook leeks: Bring small pot of water to a rolling boil and add a pinch of salt. Blanch leek rings about 1 minute until tender with some bite. Shock in ice water bath, drain, and reserve. Meanwhile, cook Brussels sprouts: Swirl a small amount of olive oil in heavy-bottom pan and arrange Brussels sprouts in pan cut side down. Cook over medium-high heat until Brussels sprouts are caramelized. Season with salt and pepper and cook until just tender. Add leek rings and set aside.

Cook spinach: In another pan, warm 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, add shallots and cook until soft, add spinach and cook just until wilted. Drain. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

When chicken is fully cooked, remove pan from oven to a sheet pan, skin side up. Coat each breast with garlic-butter walnut crust and place under broiler until the coating turns golden brown and crisp. Remove from broiler and keep warm.

To serve: Distribute spinach among plates, placing it in center. Sprinkle the leek rings and Brussels sprouts around outside of spinach and then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds over top. Place one breast on top of spinach and serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Source: California Walnut Commission

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