Almond-crusted chicken is a delightful dish that offers a crunchy exterior with a tender and juicy inside. The almonds not only provide a fantastic texture but also introduce a subtle nutty flavor, making it a great alternative to traditional breadcrumbs.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup almonds, finely ground (you can use a food processor or blender)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for a gluten-free option, use almond flour or coconut flour)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1 tsp onion powder (optional)
- 1 tsp dried herbs of your choice (like parsley, thyme, or oregano, optional)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil for frying
- Preparation of Chicken: If your chicken breasts are very thick, consider slicing them horizontally or pounding them to an even thickness. This ensures even cooking.
- Seasoning: Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and any dried herbs you're using.
- Setting Up the Dredging Station:
- In one shallow dish, place the flour.
- In a second dish, whisk together the egg and water.
- In a third dish, spread out the finely ground almonds.
- Dredging Process:
- First, coat the chicken lightly with flour, shaking off any excess.
- Dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture, ensuring it's fully covered.
- Finally, press the chicken into the ground almonds, making sure it's well-coated on both sides.
- Frying the Chicken:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully place the almond-crusted chicken breasts into the skillet.
- Cook for about 4-6 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
- Serving: Serve the almond-crusted chicken hot with your favorite side dishes. It pairs well with a light salad, steamed vegetables, or a creamy sauce.
Variations and Tips:
- For an extra layer of flavor, you can mix grated parmesan or pecorino cheese with the ground almonds.
- To ensure a crunchier crust, you can toast the ground almonds lightly before using them for coating.
- Baking Option: If you prefer baking over frying, place the coated chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Enjoy your delicious, nutty, and crunchy almond-crusted chicken!