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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

POM Wonderful Recipe Contest Entry: Marcona Almond Encrusted Chicken Tenders with a Creamy Pomegranate dipping sauce

I am entering the POM Wonderful Blogger recipe contest, that I learned about from the foodie blogroll, who is also having their own contest involving POM Wonderful. I have posted my recipe here, cross your fingers!!! The Pomegranate Dipping Sauce is not too sweet and has a nice tangy taste. It pleased the discriminating palate of the husband. This recipe would be great for a party as an appetizer, or served with vegetables and cous cous as a main meal. It is easily made ahead up until the chicken going in the oven, and the sauce is versatile. I think the sauce would also work over pork loin.

Pomegranate Dipping Sauce

1 and 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small shallot, sliced thin and separated into rings
1 tsp. sugar
the zest of one orange
1/2 C. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice
1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
POM Wonderful Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Melt butter over medium heat and add shallots and sugar. Saute over medium low for approximately 8 minutes, stirring frequently until caramelized. During the last minute, add orange zest and continue stirring.

Add POM Wonderful Pomegranate juice, mustard, nutmeg, and cardamom and whisk to combine. Simmer over medium heat about 8-10 minutes until reduced slightly and syrupy. Add heavy cream and whisk until combined. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Take off heat, taste and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. This sauce can be made a day in advance, and is easily doubled for a larger recipe. Garnish with Pomegranate seeds, and serve with Marcona Encrusted Chicken Tenders (recipe follows).

Marcona Almond Encrusted Chicken Tenders

1 and 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
1 C. finely chopped Spanish Marcona Almonds
1/2 C. Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 C. honey mustard
1-2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine breadcrumbs, and almonds in a shallow dish. Brush a thin coating of honey mustard on the chicken tenders and coat completely in almond breading mixture.

Place wire cooling rack over baking pan or in Large Baking dish, and place encrusted chicken tenders on rack. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven), mine took 25 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. If desired, broil for one minute to further brown the coating. Serve with Creamy Pomegranate Dipping Sauce (recipe above). Chicken can be breaded a few hours ahead of time and placed in fridge until ready to cook.