Almond-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Cranberry-Orange Relish1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
¾ cup sliced almonds (see note*)
¾ cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup orange marmalade
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Making the Minutes Count:Line the flour, egg, and bread crumbs up in a row for efficient breading. Also, start to heat the oil while breading the chicken.
Heat Oven: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees.
Prep Breading: Spread flour in shallow dish. Beat eggs in second shallow dish. Process almonds into fine crumbs in food processor, about 10 seconds, (I used a hand food chopper and chopped the nuts until they were in fine crumbs. It did take a little longer than 10 seconds), then toss with panko, cinnamon, and cornstarch in third shallow dish.
Season and Bread Chicken: Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge in flour, then dip into egg, and finally coat with nut mixture. Press on nuts to make sure they adhere.
Cook Chicken: Heat oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken and brown thoroughly on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Drain chicken briefly on paper towels, then lay on wire rack set over baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
Make Relish: Pour hot oil out in pan and wipe pan clean with wad of paper towels. Add cranberries, marmalade, and orange juice to skillet and simmer over medium-high heat until mixture is thick and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in chives and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon cranberry relish over chicken before serving.
* Don’t process the nuts longer than directed or they will turn pasty and oily. You can substitute an equal amount of whole pecans for the sliced almonds, but note that the crust will be darker colored. It does say to use a food processor. I actually used a hand food chopper and it worked perfectly.