Picture oven baked skinless boneless chicken thighs, spiced up with cumin, sweet paprika, garlic and cayenne, coated in olive oil and crusted in almonds. Have I got your attention yet?
From Food and Wine's annual cookbook way back in 2006, I've had my eye on this one for a while. Although they recommended using coarsely chopped almonds, I used some of the almond meal I purchased to make the fabulous gluten free Kumquat Cake a little while ago. I store the meal in my freezer because after all we're in the sunny south and with 75 degree temperatures in my kitchen the past few days, it can go rancid before you know it. Baked in a 400 oven for 50 minutes, the thighs came out moist, incredibly tender and really full of flavor.
Paired with a quick lemon aioli made using store bought mayonnaise, the juice and rind of a lemon as well as a tad more olive oil, the whole shebang was darn near perfect on top of some mixed salad greens garnished with red onion and dried cranberries. Best of all the left over chicken's going to make a heck of a sandwich on some of our homemade sandwich rolls. Just sayin'!
Speaking of greens, our lettuce pots are ready to harvest again - I know I'm bragging, but I can't believe I haven't killed 'em yet.
Oven Baked Almond Crusted Chicken (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from Food & Wine 2006 Annual Cookbook)
I used skinless boneless chicken thighs, but you could use darn near any cut – they recommended chicken wings which would be superb.
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups almond meal (or coarsely ground almonds)
Preheat oven to 400. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside. Wash and dry chicken thighs. In a large bowl combine oil, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic, vinegar, sherry, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss well to coat.
Place almond meal into a plastic bag. Toss chicken into bag a piece at a time and coat evenly with almond meal, pressing onto chicken to adhere well. Place chicken in a single layer onto prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve warm or cold with aioli.
1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Place mayonnaise, lemon rind and juice in a blender or mini food processor. Pulse to combine well. With motor running add olive oil and a slow drizzle and process until smooth.