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Oven-Baked Almond Meal Chicken
Let's face it. Parmesan chicken is delicious. It is also one of my husband's favorite meals. I wanted to make it for him, but I also wanted to try a new spin on it. Instead of using bread crumbs or Parmesan cheese or other ingredients to make the batter, I decided to use homemade almond meal flour, mixed nuts, and seasonings. In addition that, I also wanted to try putting a topping on it to mix in some more flavors. I created a simple topping with sausage, tomatoes, and spinach. Here's how it turned out.
To start off, you need to make your batter. This is pretty simple. Take two eggs and whisk them in a small bowl. Add in a touch of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar to give it some extra flare. In a separate bowl, mix almond meal flour, finely ground nuts (I put cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and brazil nuts in the blender to make sure they were very fine, almost powdery), pepper, basil (again, finely chopped) and Italian seasonings. Now you have your batter ready to go.
Next, take your chicken - I used boneless and skinless chicken tenders - and dip it first into the egg mixture, then dip it into the dry mixture. Make sure you get the chicken fully covered in each. The egg is your key to getting the dry mixture to actually stick and not fall off of it. Now after round one of dipping it in, go for round two! Dip the chicken into the egg and dry mixture for a second time. This makes sure it's well covered and will give it some extra crunch when you are eating it. After you've dipped it in each two times, place it on a baking sheet that is lined with foil. Be sure to spray the foil with a bit of olive oil or non-stick spray in order to be able to get your chicken off quickly after cooking! You don't want to lose all your batter on the foil.
Repeat this process with each chicken tender.
Once you have all the tenders battered, place them in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes. The time will vary based on how thick they are. Be sure they are done (all white no pink inside!) before removing.
Now that the chicken is in the oven, you can start your delicious topping. Take cooked, ground sausage and combine it with halved cherry tomatoes and finely chopped spinach in a saucepan. Although it won't be a sauce, you want the ingredients to start to stick together. Cook on a skillet on medium for a few minutes. The tomatoes should start to look more cooked and the spinach stick to the other ingredients.
Once the topping is done, you can remove it from the heat and serve it on a separate dish, letting each person decide how much they want to add atop their chicken.
Note that the more grease is in the sausage the more rich it will taste. If you want the dish to be less rich, be sure to drain the sausage well before you combine it with the other ingredients.
Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and serve with the topping as an optional garnish. This dish serves well with salad or other vegetables.
- 2 eggs
- 1 - 1&1/2 Cup Almond Meal Flour
- Lemon Juice
- Pepper, Italian Seasoning
- A few leaves Fresh Basil
- 1/3 Cup Mixed Nuts, crushed finely
- 1/2 Cup Ground Sausage, cooked, chopped finely
- 1/3 Cup Spinach
- 7 Grape Tomatoes
- 6 Medium Chicken Tenders
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. To create your batter, begin with whisking two eggs in a small dish. Add in a little lemon juice (about half a lemon) and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Mix well. In another dish, pour in almond meal flour, finely ground nuts, pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil. Mix well.
- One at a time, take the chicken tenders and dip them in the egg mixture, making sure the chicken is well covered. Then dip into dry mixture, again making sure it's covered well. Dip it again into the egg mixture and once more into the dry mixture. Then place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat with all tenders.
- Bake chicken in oven for 20-25 minutes until done. (optional: use foil to make a tent over the chicken to retain moisture better)
- While the chicken is baking, begin making the sausage topping. Combine the sausage, spinach and tomatoes in a sauce pan. Cook over the stove on medium heat, stirring often until it begins to stick to each other.
- Once the chicken is done, remove from oven and serve with topping.