A healthy version of chicken strips that are baked instead of fried, and coated in ground almonds in place of breadcrumbs. Old almond crusted chicken recipe of mine that was desperately screaming for a picture makeover. Now, that the light in my kitchen is so much better with new countertops, you don’t have to ask me twice to grab a camera.
This almond crusted chicken came out fantastic – crunchy on the outside, moist inside and full of flavour. We joked with our 4 year old at a dinner table saying that these are from a healthy McDonald’s but his reply was “There isn’t one. And even if there was I don’t want McDonald’s”. LOL now we had to fight “a monster” we have created ourselves.
There are a few tips on using almond coating in place of breadcrumbs but generally I prefer it WAY MORE to breadcrumbs. Just because I have a hard time finding whole wheat organic breadcrumbs in stores. And I always have almonds on hand that I can quickly grind in a food processor. Another huge benefit is the nutrition content because of the healthy fats naturally found in the nuts. These are so filling. Not to mention if you have gluten sensitivity, these are gluten free.
To make almond crusted chicken at home is super easy. I have to admit I just recently learnt myself how to do it properly. Baking anything healthy and crispy scares me to death because it is not as easy as dropping meat in a bunch of oil and having juicy tasty chicken wings. When baking instead of frying you gotta use right oven temperature, baking sheet/parchment paper combo and ingredients. Believe it or not even the colour of your baking surface matters!
So, you first get bowls with egg wash and almond coating ready. Then you slice chicken breasts into thin strips. Keep in mind you will flatten them so the strips will look bigger. Don’t freak out.
Then you have to pound these chicken pieces with a meat tenderizer. We are using a sheet of plastic wrap to keep our kitchen clean. Trust me, you don’t want chicken juices all over your face. And meat tenderizer is a great investment for tenderizing meats or crushing nuts inside the plastic pouch. You can pick one up like mine at Ikea or buy similar one on Amazon.
So, here is a BIG TIP working with an almond coating – before you flip chicken strips they might look under baked and soggy on the bottom. That is OK because almonds will turn golden brown once you continue baking on the other side. So, do flip them, don’t be afraid.
This is what they will look like at the end…Don’t you want to just grab one from the screen?!
If you want leftovers, double the recipe. One batch served 4 people and a few pieces were left. Chicken strips are great as an appetizer with organic ketchup or your favourite healthy dipping sauce like healthy honey mustard dressing, with baby kale salad, along brown rice, quinoa or cauliflower mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
- 1.5 lbs or 3 very large chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
- 1 1/4 cup almonds, ground (almond meal works too)*
- 1 tbsp garlic or onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano or basil, dried
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, large
- Cooking spray (I use Misto)
- Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, spray well with cooking spray and set aside.
- In one small bowl, mix ground almonds (almond meal), garlic (onion) powder, oregano (basil), salt and pepper. In another small bowl, whisk the eggs.
- Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into 1/2 inch thick strips lengthwise. Place a few on a cutting board, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat tenderizer a few times. Repeat with remaining pieces.
- Dip each strip into an egg mixture, coat completely in almond mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes on one side, flip and bake for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Please note, when flipping the bottom might look under baked and soggy but it will get browned and crispy, trust me. Serve hot with organic ketchup or Honey Mustard Sauce, or Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes" for a complete meal.
*I grind almonds in a food processor myself. I assume almond flour would work too but I personally like coarsely ground almonds, which is called almond meal.
Servings Per Recipe: 18 pieces
Amount Per Serving = 1 Chicken Strip:
Total Fat: 4.0 g
Cholesterol: 19.6 mg
Sodium: 74.9 mg
Total Carbs: 1.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 8.0 g
WW Points+: 2