Monday, January 14, 2013

Chicken Delicioso

This is a take on the traditional Chicken Parmesan without the cheese; I use ground almonds instead of bread crumbs, and add lots of fresh herbs. The salad that goes on top is a perfect complement! Serves 4

1 c coarsely ground, lightly salted almonds
Leaves from 6 sprigs rosemary
Leaves from 6 sprigs thyme
2 full handfuls parsley
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
zest of 1 lemon
Optional: 1/2 tsp dried oregano

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - free range!
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs from free-range hens, room temperature. If you need to warm them up fast, put them in a liquid measuring cup, cover with hot tap water, and let sit for a few minutes.

Baby greens and/or escarole
Basic Salad Dressing

Preheat oven to 300*F. Set out a half-sheet pan. You'll be putting the cutlets in the pan to keep them warm as you cook up the batches.

Combine all of the Coating ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the herbs, almonds and garlic are finely minced. Pour a moderate layer into a shallow dish, and set aside the rest (you'll see why.) In another shallow dish, beat the eggs with 1 TB water.

Heat a large (10") skillet over medium heat and generously coat the bottom with EVOO. While the pan is heating, cut your chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 2 cutlets each, for a total of 8. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of waxed paper and pound them until they're less than 1/2" thick.* Dry them thoroughly with paper towels, you won't be using flour to help dry them out. Generously season both sides of the cutlets with the kosher salt & pepper. Dip cutlet in the egg mixture, then put in the Coating dish. Using your clean hand, cover the top of the cutlet with more from what you set aside and gently press into the meat. (You might have leftover Coating; since you haven't contaminated it with raw chicken, you can stuff it in artichokes or use it on pork chops next time!) Cook about 3 or 4 at a time for just about 2 minutes on each side and transfer to oven to keep warm until all the cutlets are cooked.

Toss the greens with Basic Salad Dressing. I use my (clean!) hand instead of tongs or forks because I can thoroughly coat each leaf with very little dressing.  Put 1 or 2 cutlets on each plate. Top each with a large handful of salad and garnish with Pickled Red Onions. Yummy!

*If you try to pound out the breasts without cutting them in half first, the meat will "pull" together again. It's worth taking this step for best results.


  1. Oh! I remember a year or two ago I made "chicken nuggets" with crushed almonds and spices as the 'breading'.... I bet people with kids could modify the size and shape of the chicken in this recipe to make it kid-friendly too!