Chicken with chestnuts is a comforting dinner, perfect for the Fall. Chicken breast is pan fried, and then simmered in a sweet and savory wine sauce with roasted chestnuts, shallots, and garlic. This is a restaurant-quality chicken dish that is easy to make in the comfort of your own home.
All about chicken with chestnuts
Chestnuts have been a staple to my family since I was little. Around the holidays, my family roasts them and eats them with fruit before dessert. My grandpa is in charge of cutting them, and my job was to put them in perfect rows on the broiler pan. Now, that’s my sons job and it is so cute to see how excited he gets around the holidays to help.
Since I grew up eating chestnuts, it was shocking to me that so many people are scared to cook with them. If you are one of those people, I strongly advise that you give them a chance. They really give the perfect slightly sweet component to savory dishes.
They sell packaged, peeled chestnuts right in the produce section of most grocery stores in a convenient pouch. I have linked the specific brand I use down below in the ingredients section. This convenient product eliminates the need to roast and peel the chestnuts; all the work is done for you. They are perfect for this dish!
Cooking with wine
Madeira wine works really well in this recipe, because it has great depth of flavor with some sweetness. Marsala wine would be a good alternative, too. If you don’t prefer to use alcohol in cooking, the closest flavor would probably come from reducing balsamic vinegar and mixing it with more chicken stock. These flavors will mimic the sweetness and depth of the wine.
What do I need to make chicken with chestnuts?
Here is everything you will need to make this dish:
- thinly sliced chicken breast
- all purpose flour
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- light butter
- roasted and peeled chestnuts
- I use the Galil brand
- fresh garlic
- Madeira wine
- A good alternative would be Marsala wine, since it has a similar taste.
- If you don’t cook with wine, you can replace with broth and reduced balsamic vinegar.
- reduced sodium chicken broth
- I use the College Inn brand, you can find it near you here
How do I make chicken with chestnuts?
This dinner is fairly easy to make. The method I use here is a universal method for making a chicken dish with a pan sauce. Everything gets made in one pan, but in stages. Prep your vegetables first by slicing your shallots and garlic. Add the flour to a shallow dish and season it with half of the kosher salt and pepper. Stir this mixture until it is fully combined and dredge each piece of chicken in the flour.
Cooking the chicken and making the sauce
Melt half of the butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat, and add olive oil spray. Sear two pieces of chicken at a time in the frying pan for a couple of minutes on both sides. Make sure to only cook two at a time so the pan doesn’t overcrowd and the chicken is able to develop a golden color. At this point, the chicken won’t be cooked through. Set the chicken aside and repeat this step, adding the rest of the butter and olive oil spray, and sear the other two pieces of chicken. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add more olive oil spray and sauté the shallots and chestnuts with 1/4 teaspoon of salt for 5 minutes. The shallots should be broken down and tender. Add the sliced garlic for just a minute or until fragrant, ensuring it doesn’t burn. Then, pour in the Madeira wine and the reduced sodium chicken broth and cook until the mixture begins to boil.
Add the chicken pieces back into the pan with the juices on the plate they were sitting on. Nestle the chicken into the sauce to ensure it is coated. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Chicken with Chestnuts
- frying pan
- 1 lb chicken breast, split into 4 pieces, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tbsp light butter, I use Land 'O Lakes Brand with Canola oil
- olive oil spray
- 3.5 oz chestnuts, bag, roasted and peeled
- 1 shallot, large
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup Madeira wine
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- Prep your vegetables; slice the shallot and mince the garlic.
- Cut your chicken breast into 4 thin slices, if you are starting with full chicken breasts.
- In a shallow dish, add the flour and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Dredge the pieces of chicken in the flour.
- Melt 1/2 of the butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat, and add olive oil spray.
- Sear two pieces of chicken in the pan for a couple of minutes on either side until they are golden in color (it won't be cooked through).
- Set the chicken aside and repeat this step, adding the rest of the butter and olive oil spray, and sear the other two pieces. Remove from the pan.
- In the same pan, once all of the chicken is cooked and has been removed, add more olive oil spray and sauté the shallots and chestnuts with 1/4 teaspoon of salt for 5 minutes until the shallots are broken down and tender.
- Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the wine and broth, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the chicken pieces back to the pan with the juices from the plate they were sitting on.
- Nestle the chicken in the sauce to ensure its coated, cover and cook on medium low for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- 5 WW points per piece (green plan)
- 4 WW points (blue and purple plans)
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