Mustard and Walnut Crusted Chicken

by Jenn on August 28, 2009

in Dairy Free,Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Meats

So I have some new cooking challenges in life – not only am I cooking for my gluten free husband, but I am also cooking for my diabetic mom.  While there is a fair amount of overlap between their dietary restrictions, some things have definitely presented new challenges.  For example, my mother cannot have any grains of ANY kind.  Not even whole grains.  Not even gluten free ones like quinoa or brown rice.  Until now, I never realized just how carb based our lifestyle was until I started going through my blog and realized just how many of my posts she would not be able to eat!  So this will definitely make me put on my thinking cap some over the next few months.

But who am I to turn down a challenge?!  This may sound a bit silly, but I like cooking with the various restrictions because it forces me to get creative.  As it is, I hardly ever just make a recipe as is.  I usually end up adapting it to suit my husband’s dietary needs, ingredients I have on hand, my whims, etc.

This also means that she needs to eat more meat/dairy than we do, because she can’t have many of the protein foods that we eat, like quinoa, and can only eat limited amounts of legumes.  While vegetables are still a heavy part of her diet, eating/cooking meat or fish only one or two meals a week (as we had been doing in order to do our best to live by Pollan’s food mantra) is now no longer an option if we are all going to be eating the same meal.  But I will try to highlight the vegetarian things that I do end up making as much as I can.  We are still eating ethically produced meat and fresh local veggies as much as we can though!

But anyways, I babble too much – on to the food!  I made this recipe basically from what was already around the kitchen.  Chicken needed using up, and everything else we just happened to have on hand.  My mother has been in a bit of a food “rut”, eating the same style of foods each day, and so I wanted to change things up a bit for her – I had this great idea to coat the chicken in a mustard sauce and then dip it in walnut meal, much the same way someone might do for breading meat (well probably not with mustard sauce).  I then topped it with some sauteed onion/parsley, and it went over really well!


1 lb. chicken breasts (4 servings)
1/2 cup dijon mustard
2 lemons
salt, pepper
about 3/4 cup walnut meal
olive oil
1 vidalia onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup parlsey, chopped
2 tbs. mustard

1. In a small bowl, mix mustard, salt, and pepper together.  Add in juice of 1/2 lemon and mix well.
2. Coat chicken in mustard sauce, and then dip in walnut meal until completely covered.  Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat up 2 tbs. olive oil.  Add chicken and brown each side (med-high heat).  Then add in juice of one lemon to the skillet, and cover.  Turn the heat down a bit (med.), and cook until chicken is fully cooked.  This should help keep it moist while it is cooking.
4. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute (med-high) onion, garlic and parsley in olive oil until onions are translucent.  Add in a little bit of mustard and juice of the last half lemon, and cook for about 5 minutes more.
5. To serve, plate chicken first and top with onions.  The onions will be very strongly flavored if you eat them on their own, but eaten with the chicken they complement each other very well!



Sophia August 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

AH! This looks perfect! Love the walnut crust…I suppose you could make your own walnut meal by grinding walnuts?

Jenn August 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm

You can make your own meal by grinding walnuts. I actually lucked out one time at the grocery store and found 8oz. packages of ground walnut or almond meal for super cheap that I stocked up on which has been super convenient. But I have frequently made my own nut meal by grinding various nuts, either in my coffee grinder or food processor depending on how much I need to make.

gfe--gluten free easily August 29, 2009 at 1:38 pm

That looks like a vey lovely meal, Jenn! I can grind walnuts in my mini-chopper even. I’ve done it recently for pesto and one of my 3-min flourless chocolate cakes. Works great and quick clean-up! I actually thought I didn’t like mustard anything until I tried Dijon a few years ago. LOL

I bet you will do great with this challenge! And, I love all the “babbling” … I’m quite a babbler myself. I just consider it “lead-in” info! 😉 But, it’s very interesting that a no-grain the diet has been advised for your mom. I’ve never heard of that for diabetes. I can’t say that I disagree with it though. First, it obviously gets gluten out and, second, I do believe we are hunters/gatherers by nature and they didn’t eat grains. And, honestly, I feel better when I just eat meat, fish, seafood, veggies, and fruit. I’m going to be looking forward to your new recipes following this plan!


Valérie August 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I’m impressed with how you’re working your way around these various restrictions. Kudos to you!

Interesting idea, using a walnut crust!

The Novice Chef August 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Jenn, I just wanted to tell you how inspiring it is to come to your blog! The way your work around all of the different specific diets in your family amazes me and shows me that if you can figure out ways to cook delicious meals despite all of those tough restrictions…I, with no restrictions, should be able to as well!

Megan September 3, 2009 at 10:31 am

Looks like you pulled off a spectacular meal… even with all the dietary restrictions. This is so making my mouth water!

Chaya June 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Walnuts make the greatest crusts. I have mixed them with corn meal or potato starch to vary the consistency. I want to try your combination of spices. Looks spectacular

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: