This is an alternative to the traditional fried chicken. I actually hate almonds (I know, I know… I get groans all the time when I say this, so go ahead and throw tomatoes or something…). BUT, hating almonds aside, I decided to give this recipe a shot. And I’m glad I did! My hubby absolutely loved it and considering my almond disaffection, I thought it was pretty good, too.
If you like almonds or want a change from the more traditional fried chicken, try this recipe and let me know what you think! We served this with a fancy salad (recipe to be showcased here later!) and buttermilk biscuits.
almond crusted chicken
(from Cook’s Illustrated Quick Recipes Cookbook)
2 large eggs
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/4 tsp grated orange zest from 1 orange, zested orange cut into 4 wedges
1 cup sliced almonds, processed into fine crumbs in the food processor
1/2 cup panko* or bread crumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (5-6 oz each), dried thoroughly with paper towels
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Combine eggs, mustard, orange zest, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a shallow dish and beat lightly until ingredients are combined. (My hubby made me take a picture of this because it happened to look like a face!)
Mix the almonds and panko (or breadcrumbs) in a separate dish.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip the chicken into the egg mixture using tongs, turning to coat well and allowing excess to drip off. Drop the chicken into the nut mixture and press the nuts into the chicken with your fingers.
Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a heavy-bottomed, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place the chicken in the skillet gently and cook until golden brown and crisp on the first side, about 2½ minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken; reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the meat feels firm when pressed gently, the second side is deep golden brown and crisp, and the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 2 minutes longer.
*Panko is Japanese bread crumbs found in the Asian section of your grocery store.