Almond Coated Chicken and Pan Fried Veggies
This is a super easy, one pot, one dish meal. I would have loved to put the pan fried almond chicken over a nice salad, but I am a little hesitant to eat raw veggies here in Cambodia, because of the use of pesticides and because the tap water is not safe for drinking or thoroughly washing veggies. Fortunately, these pan fried veggies are not only incredibly tasty, they also work incredibly well with the crunchy almond coated chicken. And then, because I can’t not have a sauce on everything I eat, there is a cool, creamy basil and garlic sauce that adds a bit of an Asian flair to the recipe and gives it sizzle and oomph!
The chicken is nice and crispy, thanks to its crunchy, nutty almond coating, and super tender and flavorful. When cooking chicken, especially chicken breasts which can get dry and end up flavorless, seasoning is so important! Some recipes combine the salt and pepper with whatever you are dredging the chicken in (flour or, in this case, ground nuts), but I think seasoning the chicken itself is so much more effective. In this case we are not only seasoning it, but pounding that salt and pepper in and really infusing the chicken with them which makes for a more flavorful chicken breast. Letting the chicken sit while the veggies cook allows it to rest for a few minutes, ensuring that the juices stay locked inside and your chicken is juicy and tender.
- 3 tsp Oil, divided in half
- 2.5 oz Almonds, crushed
- 0.5 oz Almonds, crushed and kept separate
- 1 Egg
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- Salt and Pepper
- 6 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
- 4 bunches Bok Choy, washed and cut in quarters
- 1 Small Onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup Loosely Packed Basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 Lime
- ¼ cup Plain Yogurt
- Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, season each piece with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and pound thin (about ¼ inch thick) making sure that all pieces of chicken are pounded out to equal thickness.
- Whisk egg in a small, shallow bowl. In a second bowl, add the crushed almonds.
- Dip the thin chicken pieces first in the egg and then in the almonds, ensuring that the almonds coat the chicken well. (Hint: use one hand to dip the chicken in the egg and the other hand to dip into the almonds otherwise your fingers will end up coated as well!)
- Heat 1½ tsp oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the chicken pieces. Allow them to cook on one side without moving them for 5 minutes, then flip and allow them to cook 2-3 minutes on the other side or until juices run clear and they have reached an internal temperature of 165F.
- Remove chicken from skillet and allow it to rest.
- Add remaining oil to the skillet, heat over medium heat until hot and add tomatoes, Bok Choy and onions. Allow the veggies to sit, undisturbed for 3 minutes. To resist the temptation to stir them, use this time to combine the juice of half the lime, a pinch of the chopped garlic and the yogurt. Mix well. After 3 minutes, give the veggies a quick toss, squeeze the remaining lime half of the lime into the pan and allow the veggies to cook 2 more minutes undisturbed. At the end, toss the basil and the remaining minced garlic into the pan and give the whole thing a brief toss.
- Serve the roasted veggies with the chicken and top with the garlic-lime yogurt sauce and remaining crushed almonds.