LC Cookie Swap Note
Although we do find this quirky creation to be quite lovely, let’s be clear about one thing: Chicken and Christmas cookies crumbs in cream isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of an ideal dinner. Although if the notion of fancying up plain chicken breasts with a lightly spiced sauce with a rich, velvety texture, a hint of sweetness, and a naughty sense of dessert before dinner, by all means, you really shouldn’t let another season pass before trying this. The result draws much of its personality from the cookies you use. Speculoos, should you have them available to you, are perfect in this recipe, although gingersnaps will also do nicely, whether store-bought or made from scratch.
Cinnamon Crunch Chicken
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 30 M
- Makes 4 servings
Place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin or use a serrated knife to chop the cookies unevenly. You want some cookie powder, some cookie crumbs, and some small cookie chunks. Stir the cookie powder, crumbs, and chunks into the crème fraîche and season with salt and pepper.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and slice them crosswise into strips about a scant inch wide.
Place a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter or oil. Add the chicken strips and sauté, adding more butter or oil if necessary, until the chicken is lightly colored on all sides and almost cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the cookie mixture to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for another minute, stirring constantly, until the chicken is coated and completely cooked and the cookies seem to have melded into the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper, and serve as soon as it’s ready.
Recipe Testers' Tips
This Cinnamon Crunch Chicken can be made in a pinch, and is elegant enough to serve as part of a fine meal. I didn’t notice the cinnamon and the crunch so much—I instead found that the unique spice flavour of the speculaas was what defined the sauce. This balanced the light, tangy creme fraiche quite well. The flavourful, creamy sauce is spectacular in its simplicity. Although the sauce really needs no help, when I prepare this again, I’ll add a few sautéed mushrooms for variation. Plan to spend about 20 or 25 minutes from prep to table.
Don’t be afraid of cookies and creme fraiche over chicken! It’s chicken in a creamy, spiced cookie sauce—one of the oddest dishes I’ve ever made. But my tasters loved it, and I actually loved it, too. The creme fraiche mixes with the chicken juices, yielding a smooth, creamy sauce that’s a little sweet, with a hint of spices. I used Trader Joe’s gingersnaps, which have pieces of crystallized ginger in them, which melted into the sauce. The cookies are small, so I used 8 cookies for 4 breasts and found it a good balance. I served the chicken over spaghetti squash, but it would go well over pasta, rice or quinoa, too. I really didn’t know what to expect with this dish, but we’re making it again tomorrow night, so it’s obviously a winner. And it was super-fast to pull together!
I received a bonus when I tested this recipe: Not only did I find an incredibly easy way to prepare a delicious weeknight chicken dish, but I also discovered my new favorite cookie. I fully intended to make this recipe with storebought gingersnaps. Wouldn’t you know, no gingersnaps to be had at the store. By this time, I was stuck on the idea of making this, so I started digging through my baking books for a speculaas recipe. I like gingersnaps just fine, but speculaas have that crumbly shortbread texture, and a much more nuanced taste. But back to the chicken. Once you have the cookies, this recipe is a snap to make. What you end up with is a delicately spiced, fragrant, creamy sauce that’s a pure delight. It may sound strange to crumble cookies into a chicken dish, but suspend your disbelief for a while and just go with it. It works better than I ever could have imagined.