Sweet Walnut Chicken

At first, I didn't think this recipe was "blog-worthy" - for me, it was a little too sweet.  But then I realized that I shouldn't just be cooking for my own tastebuds.  I want to try to branch out and make things that maybe I don't enjoy 100%, but others will.  As long as it tastes good, and isn't a total disaster, it shouldn't matter if I personally like it... right?

I saw a recipe for brown sugar chicken in a crock pot and it peaked my interest. I had brown sugar at my house, as well as a few other ingredients I thought might work well with it.  I wanted to make everything come together, almost as a glaze, but it didn't quite work out that way.  But what did work out was just fine and dandy, so I will share it with you all!

What You'll Need:
4 skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
6 tbsp. brown sugar, divided
6-oz. beer, your choice!
2 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. Tastefully Simple's "Beer and Brat Mustard" (or any type of dry mustard is good), divided
1 tbsp. honey
Salt, Pepper
1 tsp. Granulated Ginger
1/2 cup walnuts, finely crushed in food processor

Start by making your marinade, which will later turn into your sauce.  Mix 4 tbsp. of brown sugar with the beer, soy sauce, 2 tbsp. mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and ginger.  Whisk together until the brown sugar and honey have both dissolved.  In a bowl or a large Ziploc bag, pour the marinade over your chicken.  Refrigerate and let sit for 2 hours, or if you are doing this ahead of time, overnight is best!  The longer the flavors work, the better.

When your chicken is finished marinating, transfer to a Pyrex dish with some of the juices, and bake in the oven on 375 for about 40-45 minutes.  Transfer your remaining marinade to a sauce pan and simmer for about 10-15 minutes (while whisking occasionally), until it has reduced and becomes a thick sauce that you can spoon over your chicken when it's finished.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining brown sugar, the remaining mustard, and the walnuts together until it forms a chunky paste.  When your chicken cooks to just under temperature (I say just under temp. because it will go back in the oven for about 10 minutes, so you don't want it to overcook and dry out), remove from the oven, and switch from bake to broil.

Liberally top the chicken with the "walnut paste".  Transfer back to the oven on broil until the walnut mixture becomes crunchy and toasty.  You should be able to smell when it's done.  Remove from the oven and spoon your sauce over top!

I suggest serving alongside noodles, preferably Lo Mein, with some steamed snow peas, carrots, and mushrooms - but plain is fine too!  Enjoy!


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