Thursday, May 14, 2020

Almond Chicken

It's time for the Improv Cooking Challenge, hosted by Nichole of Cookaholic Wife.
This month we're tasked to make a dish with the combo of Meat and Nuts.

I don't always participate in the Improv Cooking Challenge, and I should.  I love trying to make up a recipe or find a recipe that fits within the parameters of the challenge, which consists of putting two disparate ingredients together.

 I looked at the ingredients and thought about making a meatloaf with walnuts, but honestly didn't feel the love so decided to shelve that idea.  I will make one in the future though, and tell you all about it, but not this month.

Then I looked at my menu plan for the week, and something clicked.  I'd written down Chicken as the protein but didn't have any notation beside it, and then the light-bulb exploded over my head and I suddenly got a craving for Almond Chicken, just like the Almond Chicken I used to get in Chinese restaurants, back in the dark ages. 
Almond Chicken
So I googled, and googled and googled and looked through my cookbooks, and couldn't find that elusive recipe.
Then I pulled an ace out of the hole and asked people on FB from my old home town to see if anyone there had the recipe or could remember that dish.
Almond Chicken
Turns out the restaurant I used to order it from, still makes it.  And some wonderful people gave me their versions of how to make it.
Then I twiddled with it a little more and I GOT THIS!!
Only one thing lacking, not enough chopped almonds on top.
 This is a very light tempura style batter you dip the chicken cutlets in.
Almost enough chopped almonds, almost.  I love using my mezzaluna for stuff like this.  I've had this one for over 40 years, and it's still going strong.
Chopped Almonds
 And the finished dish, with some ham fried rice and home made Sweet and Sour Sauce.  So good.
Almond Chicken

Almond Chicken

Yield: 2 servings
Prep time: 15 MCook time: 15 MTotal time: 30 M


Batter and Chicken
  • 2 chicken  breasts cut into thin cutlets- 2-3 per breast
  • 1 Cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1 ice cold cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup flour for dredging
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds for topping
  • Lettuce for serving
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil


  1. Cut the chicken breasts into cutlets, place in marinade.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot or skillet that is deep enough that it will enable the chicken to be submerged as it fries. 
  3. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, water and baking powder until smooth. This makes a very light tempura batter. 
  4. Dredge the marinated chicken in some flour and then into the batter.  Place the batter dipped chicken into the hot oil and fry.  Turn over halfway through and finish frying,  This will only take a couple of minutes because the chicken has been cut thin.  Place onto either a paper towel or some coffee filters to drain.  Continue to fry the chicken until it's all done. 
  5. You can cut the fried cutlets up into chunks and serve on lettuce if desired or leave the cutlets whole.   Sprinkle with the chopped almonds and serve alongside some fried rice or a stir fry.  
Created using The Recipes Generator
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Improv Cooking Challenge: May 2020

Ingredients: Meat and Nuts

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.


  1. It looks delicious. Almond Chicken is one of my husband's favorite dishes. I'm not crazy about it because of the gravy but your version looks absolutely perfect. I'm going to give it a try.

    1. I've never had it with the gravy, but sure found a lot of recipes with gravy, and they didn't look all that appealing. This on the other hand was delicious. And I will be making it again soon.

  2. Nut crusted chicken is a favorite of my kids, but I usually make it with pecans and rosemary, I love this version!

    1. I used to order this in a Chinese restaurant as a young adult, and it seemed like such an exotic dish back then. This month was a perfect time to revisit the dish, and make it. I love the idea of making some with pecans and rosemary. May have to try that next.

  3. Oh this brings back fond memories of the Chinese place behind the bowling alley we used to get dinner at after league night when I was little!! I will definitely have to try this soon!

    1. The only place I could find it back then was in a Chinese restaurant. But I don't think I've seen this particular dish on a menu in years. It was definitely a taste from the past, a delicious taste.

  4. Beautiful nut crusted chicken, looks amazing!


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