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Nut-Crusted Chicken with Spring Veggies

Recently I posted a two great fish recipes from America’s Test Kitchen that were also amazingly quick preps in the kitchen. This baked chicken recipe was another easy prep, even with the time it took to break down a whole chicken. I cut the recipe in half below to make it a perfect dinner-for-two size.

Breaking down a chicken is not for the squeamish, but a definite skill to have for anyone on a budget. I can buy a 5-6 lb. bird for close to $5–and either use the entire thing for a great one-pot meal, or break it up into separate meals. For this recipe, I used the breasts, and froze back the thighs, legs, and wings for another day. To find out how, you can either see one of my first attempts here, or take a look at how the experts do it here.

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Side Dish: Sautéed Leeks, Shallots, and Peas
One note on the side dish. This is a Teresa Original. The leeks looked really great at the supermarket, so I decided to use up the rest of the shallot from the chicken recipe and sauté it. Split the leek down the middle, and cut into 1/2 in pieces. Rinse well in the sink, then add with the shallots and a tablespoon of butter to a hot skillet. Let brown for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Around the 12 minute mark, add in some frozen peas  and cover. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest (if it’s handy).

Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Lemon and Thyme
America’s Test Kitchen

  • 2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, trimmed
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped coarse
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 T. shallot, minced (half a shallot)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Using fork, poke thickest half of breasts 5 or 6 times and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer breasts to prepared wire rack and refrigerate, uncovered, while preparing coating.
  2. Pulse almonds in food processor until they resemble coarse meal, about 20 pulses.
  3. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until butter is browned and releases nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add bread crumbs and ground almonds and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer panko mixture to shallow dish and let cool. Stir in lemon zest, thyme, and cayenne. Place flour in second dish. Lightly beat eggs, mustard, and pepper together in third dish.
  4. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working with 1 breast at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then coat with egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat all sides of breast with panko mixture, pressing gently so that crumbs adhere. Return breaded breasts to wire rack.
  5. Bake until chicken registers 160 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  6. NOTE: This recipe is best with almonds, but works well with any type of nut. We prefer kosher salt in this recipe. If using table salt, reduce salt amounts by half.