Baked Cinnamon Walnut Chicken, Topped with Melted Brie, Sautéed Apples and Vanilla Honey, Over a Bed of Greens & Butternut Squash Puree

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A seasonal dinner of champions that is restaurant-worthy but easy enough to make in the comfort of your own home.

This is one of my NEW favorite meals and I am already looking forward to making it again! 🙂 Growing up, I used to order a dish from one of my family’s favorite restaurants (that unfortunately is no longer open) which was very similar to this. The dish was a pecan encrusted chicken breast over mashed potatoes and asparagus, topped with melted brie and a raspberry sauce. I would order it every single time we went there to eat and it always was mind-blowing. I consider this dish my very own “fall” version of that favorite dish. I encrusted the chicken with walnuts and cinnamon instead of pecans; made a butternut squash puree in replace on the mashed potatoes; used dandelion greens instead of asparagus; and added apples as the fruity component to the dish. I’d like to thank Taproot Farm for the incredible organic butternut squash and dandelion greens used in this recipe; Funny Farm Apiaries for the delectable vanilla bean infused raw honey; and Isigny Sainte-Mère for their super creamy brie cheese and unsalted butter to help tie this dish all together. I hope you all enjoy this meal as much as I have – happy cooking and eating! 🙂

Make 4 Servings

*Squash Needs Roasted Prior to Assembling ~ See Directions Below*

Recipe by © Alysha Melnyk 2018

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Kitchen Tools:

Oven

Baking Sheet

Baking Dish

Parchment Paper

Two Sauté Pans

Two Shallow Bowls

Medium Sauce Pan

Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer

Spatulas

Liquid Measuring Cup

Dry Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

Ingredients:

4 Six Ounce Chicken Breasts of Choice

2 Large Eggs, Beaten

1 Cup Walnut Pieces, Smashed into Small Pieces (*You can use a food processor, bottom of a glass bottle, etc.)

1/2 Cup Panko

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

1 Butternut Squash, Roasted (~3 3/4 Cups Roasted Flesh)

1/2 Cup Whole Milk

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted

1 Bunch Dandelion Greens (*You can use other greens you have on hand as well.)

2 Apples, Diced

Olive Oil

Brie Cheese

Vanilla Honey (*Or other honey of choice.)

Cinnamon

Black Pepper

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Instructions:

For Roasting Butternut Squash:

  1. First (if you haven’t already), cook your butternut squash. See directions below.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Rinse and dry butternut squash.
  4. Take knife and make large, deep slits all over the butternut squash. This helps the butternut squash cook evenly and also not explode in your oven (because that unfortunately can happen haha!).
  5. Roast a large butternut squash for a total of 80 minutes (but flip at 40 minutes – use oven mitts and carefully do this). If your butternut squash is smaller, cut the time to 60 minutes total.
  6. Once the butternut squash is done roasting (skin should look browned/slightly wrinkly in spots), carefully lift the squash out of the pan with oven mitts and set on clean surface.
  7. Using a knife, cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds (it’s a bit easier to do this while the squash is still warm) and let the squash halves cool (normally happens pretty fast – around 5 to 10 minutes).
  8. Once the squash is cooled, use a spoon and brush down the sides of the squash to get the roasted flesh. Leftovers can be refrigerated and stored for around 3 to 5 days.

For Cooking/Assembling the Rest of Your Meal:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. While oven is heating, place cut greens and 2 tablespoons olive oil in one sauté pan.
  3. In the other sauté pan, place diced apples and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Mix roasted squash, milk and melted butter (either thoroughly by hand or using a hand mixer/stand mixer, which I recommend) and place in a sauce pan.
  5. Set all of this aside.
  6. Next, place beaten eggs in a shallow bowl (*easy for dipping chicken).
  7. After that, mix walnut pieces, panko and cinnamon in another shallow bowl. Have a sheet pan lined with parchment paper prepared.
  8. Dip pieces of chicken in egg and then coat thoroughly with breading mix.
  9. Set on pan and repeat until everything is used.
  10. Bake chicken for 25 minutes, then add thin slices of brie cheese on top and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  11. While chicken is baking, set your pans (the greens, apples and squash) on low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook greens until they are wilted; apples until softened; and butternut squash puree until warmed.
  12. To plate, add a layer of butternut squash puree, top with wilted greens, and chicken breast. Smother with apples, sprinkle with black pepper and cinnamon, and drizzle with honey.
  13. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
  14. Enjoy! 🙂

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