Friday, December 27, 2013

Almond Chicken Fingers

I first made this over 30 years ago for my husband, and while he ate it, he said he didn't care for it, and not to make it again for him.

I didn't listen to him, and I made it again, for Tapas this month.   And guess what, they were eaten and enjoyed.  So much for listening to him. Sheesh.
Almond Chicken Fingers

Just kidding.

I had such great plans for Tapas Night this month, (and yes I know I'm writing about it a few days late, but Christmas and Boxing Day got in the way).

I had some Andouille Sausage, some chicken, and some lovely bacon.  And I thought, hmm, I could wrap a piece of chicken in the bacon with a piece of Andouille Sausage, brush it with a nice sauce and broil it and then serve it for Tapas.  Luckily for me, I did a dry run a couple of days before, and while the concept was great, the execution was not. In other words, it didn't make the cut. 

That's when I remembered the Almond Fingers I'd made all those years ago.    

And so that's what I did.   And they were good.   Of course, because I was making it for a crowd I did up the amounts a tad, but it's all good.    Oh, and I made it Gluten Free as well.   (Just one more pat on the back for me).  Come to think of it, if you're eating Atkins, this would work for you as well.  hmmmm

Almond Chicken Fingers

2 tbsp. Butter, melted
1/2 cup ground/chopped almonds
1/4 cup bread crumbs ( I used Besan Flour aka Chickpea Flour)
1/4 tsp. Cayenne
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. chicken, cut into strips

Melt butter, dip chicken in butter then in almond mixture and bake in a 500 deg. oven for 10 minutes.
Serve with a Sweet and Sour sauce and or a Mango Chutney.

That was the basics, but here's how I did it.

First off, I made some almond flour, well, I used my little nut chopper to make some coarsely chopped nuts, then put them in a little food processor and processed them some more.   I needed to make a coarse almond flour. 

I then added some Besan Flour (chickpea flour) in place of bread crumbs, the cayenne and salt.

  I put that aside while I cut up the chicken.   I'd thawed it in the fridge overnight and it was still a little frozen when I took it out.

 So much easier to cut up that way.  I cut each breast into three cutlets, then made 4 strips out of each cutlet. 

Put them aside, while I melted the butter.   You didn't think you were going to get away without any fat here, did you? 

Boneless, skinless breasts don't have any fat, and dry out in a flash if you don't treat them right.    And I also upped the amount I made, basically I tripled the recipe, mainly because I was feeding a crowd.   And when you are baking the chicken, don't crowd the pan, you want some space around each piece of chicken for it to cook evenly.  
Dipped the chicken strips in the butter, and then into the almond mixture, before laying them on a greased pan.
Baked them for 12 minutes, and then turned the broiler on high for just another minute or so, because they weren't browned enough.  And I would have taken a picture of them when they came out of the oven, but my guests had started arriving so I had to hurry up and visit.
Almond Chicken Fingers

These disappeared rapidly, and I got some lovely feedback on them.   I will make them again, but I think I would do it just a tad differently next time.   But when I do make them again, I will post what I did here.   Maybe make the chicken into cutlets, and then coat them, hmmm, so many possibilities...

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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