Salty-sweet is definitely a hot flavor combo -- I just bought a salted caramel protein bar! But throw some heat into the salty-sweet mix and you've really got a winner.
Blue Diamond recently sent me a couple flavors in its Honey Roasted line -- Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle almonds.
While both flavors were fantastic, I was particularly enamored of the chipotle ones and stashed a serving away so I could come up with a recipe that incorporated them.
Portion control is really important when snacking on nuts -- you can easily get carried away and polish off a few servings at one sitting, so before that happens, I portion out 1-ounce servings in either a zipper-lock snack-size bag or a tiny Tupperware container. That way I can reach into the pantry, grab a serving, CLOSE THE PANTRY and be on my way.
So before the family polished off all the almonds, I took an ounce and turned them into a coating for skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I baked the chicken in the oven instead of whipping out the skillet because I didn't want any of the tasty coating to fall off in the pan.
This recipe is great for a quick after-work meal -- you get to beat the living daylights out of the almonds and the chicken breast, so if you have any post-work or post-traffic aggressions, take them out on your food!
Kickin' Chipotle-Almond Chicken
- 1 ounce Blue Diamond Roasted Honey Chipotle almonds
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (add more or less, depending on your comfort level)
- 2 6-ounce (or whatever you've got to total 12 ounces) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour the almonds into a large, heavy duty zip-seal bag and crush the almonds to the consistency of the panko bread crumbs.
After the almonds are crushed, add in the panko bread crumbs and the chipotle chili powder.
Add the pounded chicken breasts to the bag, seal it and shake the bag until the chicken breasts are evenly coated.
On a baking sheet coated with either non-stick spray or non-stick aluminum foil (my fave for easy cleanup), place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet, sprinkling any remaining coating on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear and/or the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for around 10 to 15 minutes so the juices incorporate back into the meat.
Slice the chicken into medallions and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information (calculated on SparkRecipes.com): 131 calories, 4.4g fat, 0.3g sat fat, 215g sodium, 5g carbohydrates, 0.7g fiber, 1.4g sugars, 19g protein.