Southwestern Ranch Macadamia Chicken

On Valentine’s Day, I made dinner for my cousin, and for some reason I decided to make up something new. I don’t know why I do that–maybe I like the stress of wondering if it will turn out ok? In any case, this one turned out great. In fact, K said that it’s the best chicken I’ve ever made… (the last thing she said that about was the pistachio ranch chicken). The girl likes ranch, so I usually try to work that in somehow!

Southwestern Ranch Macadamia Chicken

2 chicken breasts, pounded flat (I buy the cutlets from Whole Foods when I’m lazy–they’re already pounded and cleaned)
Buttermilk Ranch dressing
Southwestern Seasoning
Parmesan Cheese
Macadamia Nuts

I’ll say up front that I’m sorry about the lack of measurements here. The problem is that the size of your chicken breasts will determine how much stuff you need on them. Here’s what I did:

Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Put them in a pan and coat with ranch dressing (get your hands messy!). Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Make a mixture of crushed macadamias (I used a knife—they’re pretty soft), and parmesan cheese in up to a 1:1 ratio.  I had about 3/4 cup of macadamias (crushed) and 1/2 cup parmesan. You may go a little lighter on the parmesan like I did! Add a couple tablespoons of Southwestern Seasoning. Mix well, coat chicken strips, place on a foil covered pan (easy cleanup!). Bake for 15-17 minutes, depending on how thick your strips are. Don’t over bake these or they’ll get dry!

Serve with dip if you need to… but you probably won’t!

This is the Ranch I used... Obviously it would be better to use buttermilk and create your own ranch seasoning... I'll do it next time when I'm not in a rush. The same goes for the Southewestern seasoning. I used 365 brand from Whole Foods, but I'd prefer to construct my own.
My favorite nut... for oh so many reasons! The top reason is that it has a great ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s and is not like other nuts that become rancid when you heat them. Side note: Mac Nut Oil is a great one to cook and bake with because of this too, and because of its high smoke point. I used it as a face cleanser and moisturizer last night cuz I was out of castor oil... it worked, but it does smell like mac nuts so that was a little weird!
Just chop your macs---with a sharp knife it's super easy. And be jealous of my sexy knife. It's my favorite toy right now!
The soaking in buttermilk makes the chicken stay moist and it also makes the outside layer stick to it really well!
Finished product... we killed the whole batch, plus more than a skosh of wine!
Just a skosh... or ten.
I also made bacon bleu salads with butter lettuce because it's K's favorite.

We also had wine fruit snacks. K came over after work—they’re casting for two shows so she’s super busy and gearing up for shooting the shows in Vancouver. After a few skoshes of wine, we decided we should just make it a sleepover. I’m happy that she’s engaged, but it was fun to have her to myself too!

I’ve got some interesting info to share about how I kicked my coffee habit without even a glimmer of a headache! Every time I think I have a great handle on nutritional and wellness approaches, I read some different research and gain another angle to approach people’s issues with. I’m really excited about what I’ve been reading lately, and I’ve been experimenting on myself. So far, it seems too good to be true… so I have to keep it up for a bit and keep track of how/if it changes…

The weather has been amazing here for the last few days---and I've been outside as much as possible. I walked to the Venice fishing pier this morning and actually walked out to the end of it (usually I just walk to it and then head back to Santa Monica).
Feels like summer! P.S. I would never drink from those fountains... for many reasons, but I saw a guy turn one on for his dog, who then jumped up and slobbered all over it.


Pilar and I are (slowly but surely) working on our course -- Food and Yoga for Pregnancy. We're shooting her yoga sequences this week. She's at 35 weeks, so we are running out of time!


7 thoughts on “Southwestern Ranch Macadamia Chicken”

  1. Will the course be online?? I would love to take it (when I get pregnant, that is). I think I’ll use pregnancy as my ultimate excuse to really get into yoga.

    I love your recipe, great ingredients and a good reason to buy macadamia nuts other than for cookies 🙂 They are such a good nut and I always forget about them!

  2. Maria@healthydiaries

    That chicken looks amazing, I will definitely be making it this week! That’s awesome that you are doing a Food & Yoga for pregnancy course, I would definitely take it before or when I am pregnant. Will it be offered to anyone?

  3. this looks really good but I’m not a chicken eater. Do you think it would work with tofu or any kinds of fish?

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