Wednesday, July 11, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Almond Crusted Chicken and Peach Salad

I'll be back to post about birthday festivities soon, but I just had to share this recipe with you. Ya'll, this dinner was divine and so refreshing for a hot, summer night. The almond crust of the chicken, the sweet peaches and the butter lettuce, and the creamy homemade dressing. I could eat it every night of the week.

I didn't tell Ryan it was a salad on purpose, knowing he would think it wasn't substantial enough to qualify as dinner. He even loved it and cleaned his plate once he got over the fact that I tricked him!

This recipe was easy enough to throw together on a weeknight, although it does dirty up quite a few dishes. But I just threw them all in the dishwasher in between flipping the chicken so there wasn't a sink-full of dishes when I was all finished eating and ready to relax. I can't say enough good things about this recipe. It might be one of my favorites I've tried. With peaches being in season, you really can't go wrong.

I may have messed up the dressing a little bit, as I poured in the olive oil at once even though it says to pour it slowly and mix as you do. Mine was a little watery, so I just added a little more sour cream to beef it back up. I'm sure it would've turned out fine if I had actually followed the directions (oops)!

Almond Crusted Chicken with Peach Salad and Buttermilk-Balsamic Dressing
adapted from Chew Nibble Nosh

For the dressing:
1 Tbsp. white Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. light sour cream
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. freshly minced chives
salt and pepper
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
For the chicken:
1 – 6 oz. bag sliced almonds (about 1 3/4 cups)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
vegetable oil, for frying
2 large eggs
For the salad:
2 medium ripe peaches, halved, pitted, and sliced into thin slices.
6 cups butter lettuce

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, vinegar, and honey.  Whisk in the oil, in a slow stream, to blend.  Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper. 
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce and peach slices with about half of of the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Portion the salad out on dinner plates. Chill the remaining dressing until time to serve.
Lightly beat the eggs in a wide bowl.  Place the almond slices and flour in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are chopped, but not fully ground.  Transfer the almond mixture to a shallow plate, for dredging.  Season the chicken tenders on both sides with salt and pepper.
Dip one pieces of chicken at a time in the egg.  Shake off the excess and then dredge the pieces in the almond mixture.  Press the flour mixture onto the chicken to help it adhere.  Set the breaded tenders on a wire rack.
In a large skillet, heat 2-3 Tbsp. of vegetable oil over medium heat.  When it’s shimmering hot, it’s ready to work with.  Working in batches, cook the chicken until light golden brown on both sides, turning often, and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per batch.  Add a little more oil to the pan with each batch as necessary, and remove any large almonds that have fallen off of the chicken, from the oil.  Drain the tenders on paper towels after cooking.
Arrange the chicken among the plates.  Drizzle some of the remaining dressing over the chicken and serve.
Serves 4

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