[twitter]Folks, I won’t lie to you, this chicken dish is definitely an orgasmic recipe. I’m not patting myself on the back because I’ve created something wonderful – I just want you to try this. It’s not a simple recipe done in just a few minutes but much of it can be done ahead of time and you will come back and thank me. If things are done ahead, it only takes about 20-25 minutes to get it on the table.
The Australian Macadamia Society sent me some gorgeous raw macadamia nuts a couple of weeks ago so I could come up with something yummy for my blog. To them I say thank you, thank you, thank you because this dish is to die for and I would never have done it without your encouragement.
A lot of Americans think that the macadamia nut is from Hawaii but it’s actually native to Australia. They are named after a scientist in the 1850s, Dr. John McAdam. Out of all the native Australian foods (bush tucker), the macadamia is the only one developed commercially as a food. Folks, Australian macadamia nuts are really really good. If you have a chance to get some, you should.
The only tough thing about the macadamia is the shell. It’s a bear to crack. Nearly every farmer’s market in Queensland where I live will have a stall of unshelled nuts and hand made whiz-bang nut crackers. That’s how I got mine.
A crafty fellow with a big sack of nuts cracks one after another and shows how easy they are to crack so people will fork over for not only a bag of macadamia nuts but they’ll buy the cracker too. I’m guilty as charged.
You put the nut in the rubber bit and slam the hammer on something hard and then use the little handle to poke the nut out. It’s brilliant.
Anyway, moving along to my chicken dish. John and I chatted over lunch one day about WHAT I was going to do with those gorgeous nuts before we’d tested them all gone. I said I loved balsamic onions, roasted garlic and brie and thought they’d go well with the chicken. He agreed.
Once I decided what I wanted to make with the wonderful nuts, I trolled the net for some recipe ideas for macadamia crusted chicken and I found Paul Hegeman’s recipe on Chef’s Pencil and I bow down before him for this sauce. I know I probably cooked the sauce too long because it began to caramelize but I loved it that way and will do it again. If you don’t like it sweet or caramelly, don’t use more than a tiny splash of port and cook the cream only for a few minutes.
I started by roasting the garlic and caramelizing the onions. Is there anything that smells better than onions cooking with balsamic vinegar along with garlic roasting in the oven? I was SO hungry but I hadn’t even started on dinner. (it was also only 2pm) The onions take a really long time to cook so don’t rush this process. You don’t want burnt onions, just slow cooked and tangy sweet.
Once the garlic is roasted and cool, pop out the cloves into the onions and combine, then set aside til you’re ready to use them. You can make the onions and garlic up to several days ahead of time.
You can also make the macadamia crust mixture ahead of time too. Grate the Parmesan cheese, finely chop the nuts and cover tightly and place in the refrigerator until you need them. This makes the actual meal very quick because all you need to do is add the panko crumbs just before you roll the chicken breasts in the crust mixture.
When it’s time to make dinner, make a pocket in the side of the chicken breast and stuff some onions and a slice of brie in there, then roll it in flour, dip it in beaten egg and roll in those delicious macadamia crumbs.
I turned on the oven to 180° (350°F) and while it was heating I pan fried the chicken for just a few minutes until both sides were golden brown. Then I transferred them to an oven tray and baked them for 16 minutes.
While they were baking I made the sauce (oh this sauce!) and wilted the spinach. If you have never tried sage cream sauce with port, you are in for a treat. All it has in it is butter, sage, port and cream. Depending upon how much port you put in, it can be a bit sweet. You know how John doesn’t have a sweet tooth in his head so he tasted it and said, “It’s too sweet.” I looked at him and said, “no problem,” and carefully scraped all the sauce off his chicken and into my mouth.
When I had it all plated and served dinner he said, “Where’s my sauce??”
“It’s too sweet for you.”
“I loved it but it IS too sweet, can I have some?”
“Sorry, I ate it with a spoon.” My bad. There WILL be a next time for this wonderful recipe at our house. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything because sometimes I’m not so clever on writing down something new. I do a bit of this and a bit of that and if it’s good I sit back and try to remember what I did.
- 2 medium-large onions sliced thinly
- 1 tbs oil
- ⅛ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbs brown sugar (more if you like sweeter onions)
- Salt & pepper
- 1 firm head of garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (the good stuff)
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- plain flour for rolling chicken in
- 1 egg beaten and in a bowl big enough to dip the chicken breasts
- Caramelized onions with roast garlic
- 4 slices of brie
- 2 tbs butter
- 6 sage leaves finely sliced (or heaps of little tiny leaves if you're growing your own sage)
- Port wine (only need a splash but it's important - you could use white wine but port is a must-have in my kitchen)
- 300 ml (10 oz) cream
- Place onions in a large skillet with the oil and sprinkle with salt. The salt helps to release moisture and keeps the onions from browning too fast.
- Cook over low heat until the onions are translucent.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and pepper.
- Stir to combine.
- Add water every time the pan looks dry and cook on low heat until the onions are dark brown and delicious. It took me nearly 2 hours to get mine the way I like them. (it's okay to taste one.. if it's not crunchy, it's probably done)
- Cool and cover and place in the refrigerator til needed.
- Cut a piece of tin foil big enough to enclose the head of garlic.
- Place the garlic on top of the foil.
- Cut the top of the garlic off to expose the cloves.
- Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bring the sides of the foil together and twist the top.
- Place in the oven at 180C/350F for 45 minutes.
- Cool and squeeze out the cloves into the caramelized onions.
- Place in the refrigerator until needed.
- In a food processor add the Parmesan cheese and macadamia nuts and process until the nuts are fine but not powder. You want some crunch.
- Place in a bowl and mix in the panko crumbs.
- Place enough flour to coat chicken in a wide bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- With a knife, make a pocket in the sides of the chicken breasts
- Place a spoonful of caramelized onions and roast garlic in the pocket along with a piece of brie.
- Roll each chicken breast in seasoned flour
- Dip in the beaten egg
- Roll in the macadamia and Parmesan coating mixture
- Heat a skillet and a small amount of oil and fry each chicken breast until golden on both sides.
- Place on a baking tray and bake for 16 minutes or til done.
- Heat the butter in a sauce pan and add the sage leaves and cook just until the butter begins to turn color. You don't want to burn the butter, just darken it slightly.
- Add the port and cook off the alcohol for a minute or so. It will sizzle so be careful.
- Add the cream and cook for a minute. I cooked mine longer and I loved the caramelization but that wasn't what the recipe said.
- Serve the chicken drizzled with just a bit of the sauce and a few chopped macadamia nuts on top.
Just stop it.
(we are having a bloody omelette….)
Omelettes are good 🙂 Get out of the cold and come up to the Sunshine Coast and I’ll make this for you. Promise 🙂
This looks delicious. I love sage. Macadamias are a very frustrating nut aren’t they. You smashem and that mashes em. Bugger
Hi Tania, with my nifty hammer thingy I crack the shells and the nuts stay whole. Mostly I buy shelled nuts like everyone else does. 🙂
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
What an impressive dish! I’m with Trish – this is making me feel a little inferior in my dinner options for tonight!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
It looks divine! And there’s definitely a place for recipes that take a little longer. And they are on a long weekend! Hubby cracks macadamias open with a brick-he’s quite good at it 😉
I made a mess with a brick. I kept smashing the nut along with the shell. My little hammer pops them out whole. 🙂
This has got to be the most watering chicken recipe I’ve read all week!
the wicked noodle says
You SHOULD pat yourself on the back – this recipe looks amazing! I love macadamia nuts and they’re so underused in cooking. Can’t wait to try this!
Looks divine. I’ll be over with Trish.
Once the onions are done it’s a piece of cake to put it together. Come on over. I have macadamia toffee ice cream for dessert. 🙂
I’ll be there in 36 hours unless flight is delayed.
Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says
Roasted garlic, caramelized onions, Macadamia nuts, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, sage and port??????? Oh my, what a scrumptious-looking dish. And what a terrific blog. So glad I found it.
Victoria, how cool to see you here. Thanks heaps. I love your blog.
Parsley Sage says
Good lord. If you unleash this kind of awesomeness on baking club I may as well just give up now. You had be drooling at ‘roasted garlic’…
PS, you make me laugh. I suspect this awesomeness was a one-off 🙂
Wow, this really looks awesome. I love all these ingredients! Truly an orgasmic recipe I would say.
Thanks a lot. That’s high praise coming fro you!
It looks gorgeous! Thank you for the precious information about macadamia nuts. I like using them instead of candlenuts (more difficult to get here) in certain Asian dishes.
hi Sissi, what a great idea. I’ve mentally jotted that down for future reference. 🙂
Tammi Kibler | How Do You Cook Quinoa says
This dish looks so lovely. I think I will try making the caramelized onions today.
You won’t be disappointed, Tammi, thanks for visiting!
I have never used macadamia nuts in my cooking, and the port sauce sounds fascinating. I want to give it a try! Just looking at the picture is giving me drools. I love it how dig out recipes and put a spin on it.
I did not know that Macadamia nuts were from Australia, thanks for teaching me something 🙂 That chicken looks absolutely amazing.
Looks and sounds insanely good. On my list!
Thanks Dawn, you will love it.
never seen a macnut cracker – this does sound and look so good. love the taste I know and am gonna try it soon… thanks for sharing
Coffee and Crumpets says
You had me at macadamia. I love mac nuts, and then to add caramelised onions and Brie and sage?? Yummy! Are mac nuts expensive there? We have to pay an arm and a leg for them in the US…seems silly since Hawaii produces so many. I did not know they were native to Australia, I will be correcting everyone now when they mention Hawaii.
I love macadamia nuts, I have never tried them with chicken the recipe sounds delicious and looks fantastic.
Thanks heaps for the comment and lovely to see you here!
Choc Chip Uru says
For chicken lovers everywhere this does indeed look orgasmic – actually no to every food lover out there it looks orgasmic! Wow 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Aww Uru, I know this wouldn’t be a dish for you. You were really kind to leave a comment.
What a dish! You had me at the caramelised onions, and then you went on to the roasted garlic…
I didn’t know maccies were Australian! 🙂
Hi Celia, yes, there are still native trees around but not many. The Australian Macadamia Society wants to change that and is encouraging people to plant the native variety to preserve it. Frankly, I’d want a nut I could eat. 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
I have tried to get macadamia nuts out of their impossible shells before. If only I had one of your gadgets. What a delicious meal. Too bad for your husband that he made that comment about the sauce – he won’t be so quick next time. I would love to try this. Those onions look amazing and the whole dish just comes together beautifully xx
balvinder ( Neetu) says
I love chicken recipes and this one with roasted garlic and caramelized onions are to die for. I have never bought macadamia nuts here but my relatives always send us from Australia.
Then you know how tough they are to crack! I swear they could use these things for bullets 🙂
ea-the spicy rd says
Oh.My.Goodness!!! This recipe is calling out my name, port cream sauce and all!!!!
The port sauce, if reduced enough, is absolutely divine! It can be made with white wine too but I love the port with this dish.
Oh My God, Maureen! That just looks AMAZING! I’m not sure I’ve ever used macadamia nuts in savory cooking before but I definitely want to try this recipe. Funny, I got a bag of macadamia nuts from Trader Joe’s last week and saw that they were from Australia! Who knew?! Beautiful photography as always! : )
Very cool that you have Australian macadamias. The macadamia society here will be really pleased. 🙂 It’s a holiday today – Queen’s birthday. Queen Liz is also queen of Australia. Its not her real birthday, just a day off for those you work for other people. 🙂
Jess @ Floptimism says
I love that you say to make the caramelized onions in advance. Generally I faux-caramelize onions because I’m impatient and don’t think to make a batch to keep in the fridge, but it frustrates me when people act like you can get a truly high-quality caramelized onion in any short period of time. You just can’t.
This dish is good enough for company so I would make the effort and make the onions ahead of time. You’re right about not hurrying the onions. Lovely to meet you!
Christie @ Fig & Cherry says
That first shot is definitely orgasmic – had me instantly salivating! I am a massive fan of macadamias and this is a lovely savoury way to cook with them – yum! (ps. anything with caramelised onions in it is a winner for me!)
Christie, how wonderful to see you. Like everyone else around the world, I love your blog. The things you create and the places you visit are just fantastic.
wow this looks amazing and orgasmic for sure he he
Australian Macadamias says
Such fantastic comments from everyone on this wonderful recipe, thanks again Maureen. Yes macadamias are native to Australia and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes – a versatile and delicious little nut 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/AustralianMacadamias
Thanks, Lynne, the recipe was fun to make. Just you wait for the next one 🙂
Tania @ A Perfect Pantry says
This dish would wow anyone… I love macadamias, and stuffed in the chicken works so perfectly. Thanks for sharing.
The Café Sucré Farine says
Wow, this sounds totally amazing! yum, yum, yum!
Baker Street says
Ooh! I love everything about this recipe! The caramelized onions, the roasted garlic, the port sauce and especially the macadamia stuffing.
stuffing is onions, garlic and brie.. macadamias coat the outside and give it a lovely, nutty crunch.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
I agree with Celia, love the caramelised onion and the roasted garlic, awesome and very yummy Maureen!
I make a jam with the onions and roasted garlic. It’s wonderful with a nice bitey cheese. 🙂
That looks fantastic Maureen – not light on the list of ingredients but definitely a dish worth the extra things!
I really want one of those macadamia nut crackers too, although I’ve never seen “whole” macadamia nuts before 😀
I’m not sure this is a five euro meal. 🙁 However, it’s not a very expensive dinner for guests. Chicken can be bought on sale, onions and garlic aren’t too expensive. The parmesan and macadamias aren’t cheap but you don’t need heaps and balsamic vinegar isn’t inexpensive if you get the good one. Next time I find the nuts and the hammer I’ll get a package together for you. 🙂
Lubna Karim says
That’s an beautiful recipe…those r new nuts to me…..recipe sounds extremely yum…..
HI Lubna, lovely to meet you. Macadamia nuts are very popular in Australia and the United States. You should try them if you get a chance. 🙂
Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) says
Oh my gosh, Maureen. If you won’t pat yourself on the back, I will. This dish is insanely gorgeous–your first image is so appetizing. Perfection on a plate, I tell ya.
Didn’t know all this about macadamia nuts either. Thanks for the education! 🙂
Have a great week!
“This is the best chicken dish I have ever eaten.”
Wow. I’m definitely going to be trying this. How could I not with that recommendation?
I’ll probably substitute thyme for the sage (my wife is allergic, alas – although this calls for so little I might be able to get away with it). And I agree port is an under used ingredient in most kitchens – it certainly is in mine (although I have a killer port sauce, too). Super post – thanks.
Laura @ Family Spice says
This sounds really amazing! And it takes the boring chicken dinner to a whole other level! I didn’t realize that macadamia nuts were originally from Australia. They are pricey here in the states, but still oh so addictive!
It was first glance at the sauce that had me! This sounds fabulous girl and I had no idea that macadamia nuts were Australian born. I could lick that plate clean for sure, thanks for the recipe.
Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen says
Yep, you picked the right name for your blog. This looks completely and totally divine!
Cassie (bake your day) says
What an amazing dish! The whole thing has my salivating but I am especially loving the port cream sauce!
Ugh – you’re so lucky to have fresh macadamias. The ones we get here are tasteless (probably stale) and very over-priced. Still, if Hubby’s a good boy, I might make this for his next birthday. 🙂
Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) says
amazing recipe Maureen! i have leftover sage that needs to be used up, and this sounds perfect!
Frugal in WV says
I love macadamia nuts, they are yummy! Your recipe looks delicious, as always 🙂
Katherine Martinelli says
Oh wow!! What a decadent, gorgeous recipe!
Now this is what I call a recipe! Detail of every amazing piece that goes into this entree. Kudos to you for cracking your own nuts, I pay for them already cracked and they are not cheap because of being shelled.
I have never really used any type of nut coating for chicken, but after seeing this the doors have really opened. Wish that plating had been on my dinner table instead of yours!
SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) says
You had me at Sage and Port Cream Sauce. Those might be the most magical words I’ve read this month! I love long, involved recipes like this. They make me feel like I’ve really earned my dinner! Plus, it gives me time to listen to music and potter about in the kitchen with a glass of wine… which is pretty much my ideal past-time!
clauda @Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine says
over the top gourmet wow!!!!
Aww, thanks so much!
Barb @ Profiteroles & Ponytails says
I am getting hungry all over again looking at your photos. I thought I had every gadget going, but I don’t have one of those whizbang nut crackers! I didn’t know that macadamia’s are from Australia — even though I’ve visited a couple of times now. Hmmm. This flavour combination just sounds like heaven and well worth the effort involved. I must remember this for a time I feel like splurging.
Maureen..I think this is the best looking and sounding breaded chicken I’ve seen in a long time. Macadamias are my fave nut along with pistachios…especially in baking, but I must try this chicken. It has everything I love – in it and along with it. The caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and that sage and port cream sauce. Three words..come to mama.
LOL@ part 13z + 1. I give you permission to shoot me if that happens.
OH..BTW…I’m sorry..I can’t help laughing @ ‘A crafty fellow with a big sack of nuts’
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Sigh! That first picture is a perfect shot. It looks wonderful, Maureen! I didn’t know that macadamia nuts were originally from Australia. Is the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are from there too? I’d loooove to try this dish!
All the macadamia nuts I buy would be grown nearby where I live. 🙂
I never think to use macadamia’s for savoury, and I didn’t know that about the name! Great recipe, and great blog 🙂
Ingence Foods says
Agree.. this is a great recipe. I will have my partner to make it. Thanks.
I LOVE mac nuts however I can get em…and combine them with those caramelized onions. I’m in heaven.
It does look and sound orgasmic. Both my husband and I would really love it. Thanks for sharing, now I’m hungry:)
Wow. Such a stunning looking dish!
Catalina @ Cake with Love says
Bow this is definitely one good chicken recipe, I love that you used sage and added macadamia nuts, it should taste great!
Dear Maureen, I’ll say it again. I love reading your posts. I feel like I am right there with you and you are talking to me.
This dish is beautiful. It is a dish of someone who loves food and has the tastes dance in your head before making the dish. Bravo!!
Have a beautiful day and thank you for your visits dear friend. Blessings. Catherine xo
Catherine, you have such a beautiful soul. I love visiting you.
What a great chicken dish! And, a great use of your macadamia nuts. You’re right, I thought macadamias came from Hawaii. Good to know they’re really from Australia. They’re also one of my favorite nuts!
thyme (Sarah) says
Bookmarking! Wow…you got me at sage port cream sauce. Then I read about the stuffing of the chicken breasts with brie…then laying the whole thing on a bed of spinach. Oh my, I am definitely cooking this up soon. I agree, caramelizing onions takes a long time but with those on the stovetop and garlic in the oven…how much more wonderful can the house smell?!!
It smelled pretty darned good all day 🙂 I’ve been trying to think of what else I can use that sauce on. It was too good not to.
I so wish I had all the necessary ingredients for this tonight! I love sage, even put it in my chicken salad. I can’t wait to try this. Pinned it and put the ingredient list in my phone for the store!
Don’t think I’ve evr put sage in a chicken salad but it sounds yummy. I grow it all the time.
Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits says
You’re never too old to learn. I didn’t know Macademia nuts were native to Australia, but I really don’t care where they are from; I love to eat them! This dish looks sooo yummy that I’m going to bookmark it for a day when I’m not too concerned about eating healthy (no cream, butter, etc.) Pinned it on pinterest recipes to try.
Mireya, when you have a day that you throw caution to the wind, think of this recipe. Great to have you stop by.
This looks incredibly delicious !
Thanks so much! Lovely to meet you.
Devaki @ weavethousandflavors says
Dear Maureen – This is orgasmic alright! And I love the premise behind you blog. This chicken is just too delish for words and you’re right – nothing better than balsamic caramelized onions and garlic roasting at the same time. A double whammy right there!
Thrilled you loved my strawberry cheesecake pie and popped in to say hello. LOVE how this works! 🙂
chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
PS – Where in Australia? I was at uni at UNSW 🙂
I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland but before that in Albury/Wodonga on the Victorian side. I’m originally from Maine and didn’t move to Australia from Florida til I was old. 🙂 lol
Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says
Oh my goodness this chicken looks amazing!!
it really was delicious! I can’t wait to serve it again. Hubby doesn’t like the same thing every night and I’ve made it twice in one week. 🙂
Marina@ Picnic at Marina says
Maureen, that is one of a very sexy meals! I love the port sauce, mmm, delicious! 🙂
aww, thanks heaps!
Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama says
Maureen… this is mouth watering!!!! Looks so good.
silver price says
The macadamia nut consists of an off-white kernel enclosed in a brownish shell that is smooth, thick, and very hard. The shell itself is enclosed in a thin, fleshy green membrane that cracks open when the nut is fully grown and has to be completely removed before the shell can be broken. Ripe macadamia nuts are crunchy, flavorful, and hold up better than under ripe nuts when cooked.
Jill~a SaucyCook says
Seriously wonderful writing and recipe. I love the way you took care of the sauce problem for John…ha!!
he told me he’s a bit antsy now about telling me he doesn’t like something because he might not get fed. I reminded him that if that happened he had two hands and a fridge full of food. That didn’t seem to make him feel any better. 🙂
Jen L @ Tartine & Apron Strings says
I like the decadence! This is like pork chop food porn for me!!!
lol at the pork chop food porn !
This looks like the best chicken dish anyone could eat! I absolutely love it and must try it! Amazing and yes, sexy indeed! Wow you have outdone yourself. This is sooo bookmarked, baby! It is such a collection of the best flavors and textures in one dish.
Jamie, has anyone told you lately that you’re one of the nicest bloggers out there? You always make me feel 10′ tall when you visit. 🙂
Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie says
Can I just say, “OMFG!” That looks SOOOO good.
It was pretty good, Sofie!
Oh how fun, macadamia nuts have such a gorgeous flavor for sweet or savory dishes:-) This dish really sounds wonderful, and the flavors together sound fantastic!! Hugs, Terra
This looks great—I’m gluten-free so I’ll have to make some changes as far as panko crumbs and change to GF flour. Let you know how it comes out.
Please let me know how it turns out gluten free!
Kelsey Deluise says
I can almost smell the wonderful flavours from these. Great recipe and I’ll be sure to try it over the next weekend (quite anxious to actually) 🙂
Bethany Susan says
I’m having a hard time not cursing, this is SOOOOO good. I just made it. It took a long time, and I made a huge mess. SO WORTH IT. Orgasmic is right!!!!
I’m so glad you liked it! It’s my all-time fave.
Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas says
Macadamias too?!?! I can’t wait to try this!
If I had to choose a ‘last meal’ it would be this. 🙂