Thursday, March 3, 2011

Almond Fried Chicken

Don't you hate when you get a hankering for something that there's no possible way you can obtain? Growing up, we'd get Chinese take out from a restaurant called Ming Tree. And we'd always get the same thing--some kind of family meal that came with all sorts of yummy awesomeness. One of the items was Almond Fried Chicken and it had this really yummy gravy/sauce that went on it. I have never found it anywhere else. My mom is in Seattle right now for a sewing expo she flies up for every year, and she's found a place near the expo that has it on the menu. I was very jealous when she was talking recently about having it while she was there, so I did some Googling. I found recipe that sounded similar, but I didn't like the heavy breading and frying. I'm not good at frying food. I've accepted that and am fine with it, but I try to avoid it because of my lack of frying skill and health reasons. So I set about to make a healthier version that didn't include frying the chicken. The recipe below is what I came up with.

Claire's Almond Fried Chicken

2 whole skinless chicken breasts, boned and cut in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Cooking spray

4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
3 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine first three ingredients. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

In a shallow dish or pie plate, lightly beat eggs and add 1 Tbsp water. Place the flour in a separate shallow dish or pie plate, and place the panko in a third dish. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour, then dip in egg wash, then breadcrumbs, turning to coat each time. Place chicken pieces on a cooling rack that's been placed on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Turn chicken, spray again with cooking spray, and bake another 10 minutes or until juices run clear.

Prepare sauce: In a small saucepan, stir together cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir in chicken broth, butter, soy sauce and bouillon granules. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Let boil 1 minute. Keep warm.

When ready to serve, sprinkle chicken with almonds and green onion. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.


I used chicken tender for mine, so I guessed at the cooking time. I was pretty skeptical of how this was going to be, especially the gravy, but it's something I really miss having, so I figured it was worth a shot. My family really liked it. The husband absolutely loved it. I thought it was pretty good, but the gravy definitely wasn't the same. The husband said it was probably because I didn't add MSG to mine like the Chinese restaurant most likely did. I'm sure he's right. It was a good "fix" for the original until I can find it somewhere and dissect the sauce to figure out what's in it exactly. It is something I'll make again because it did go over well and with my modifications it was pretty healthy.

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture.


Anonymous said...

My Aunt went to work in one of the restruants that cooked Fried Almond Chicken. When I moved where I couldn't get it I asked her and turned to the web. She said that it is part chicken part pork gravy. I tried it but was very salty so I use chicken base that has the least amount of sodium I can find, unsalted butter, a pork gravy pack, Sesame seed oil and a quality soy sauce from an Asian market and it made a world of difference. On the chicken when coating it I use corn starch almond flour baking powder egg and then roll in Panko.

Anonymous said...

We recently watched on Youtube how to fry. The key to crunchy that we struggled to achieve is to let it sit in a strainer over an empty pot then fry it a second time! We're so happy. I know you mentioned health reasons but its so awesome being able to fry some foods! Hope this helps

Barbarainnc said...

I've been trying to find out more about this recipe. A local Chinese restaurant, now closed, the owner’s wife shared the following info: She said to soak the chicken breast in milk, then coat in a mixture of cracker meal, salt, sugar, and white pepper. Then fry. For the gravy or sauce: Almond juice, msg, sugar, salt, onion powder, cornstarch and water. The sauce was light brown in color and almondy in taste. I have no idea what Almond juice is?? I've seen recipes that had some toasted ground up almonds or almond extract. In the Detroit, MI area this dish is known as Almond Boneless Chicken or ABC. Up there they usually make a batter for the chicken instead of breading it. There are 4 Chinese restaurants in town, and none of them make this dish. It is so good!!!!!
I've been looking for a recipe for the sauce, 1 1/2 c broth,2 T soy sauce,2 T toasted almonds, 1 heaping T flour,dash of onion powder, garlic and white pepper. Blend in a blender til smooth, then cook in a saucepan til thick. Another version uses
1 1/2 c milk, 1 T flour, pinch of salt, white pepper, 1/3 c almonds and 1/3 c cashews.(I'd double the almonds) Blend in a blender, then cook in s saucepan til thick. I think this needs some soy for color. I haven't tried these, but they sound promising. :) :)