Served with fresh salad and a cranberry vinaigrette, this Almond and Thyme-Crusted Chicken courtesy of Teresa at Cupcakes & Couscous is the way to your Valentine’s heart. Perfection!
For the cranberry vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
For the chicken:
- 100g ground almonds
- 2 tsp fresh or dried thyme leaves
- salt and pepper
- 2 free range chicken fillets, sliced lengthways
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- olive oil for frying
For the mushroom sauce:
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 100g mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup pouring cream
- 1 tsp fresh or dried thyme leaves
- salt and pepper
For the salad:
- lettuce leaf mix
- small handful of green beans, sliced and steamed
- 100g rosa tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
1.) Start by preparing the vinaigrette. Soak the cranberries in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain the cranberries then put them in a food processor with the olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Blitz until creamy and well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2.) To make the chicken: combine the ground almonds, thyme leaves and a good grinding of salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the beaten egg and then into the almond mix to coat. Repeat with the remaining egg and almond mix so that each piece of chicken has been coated twice. Place the chicken pieces in the fridge.
3.) To make the mushroom sauce: heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the garlic and mushrooms for 5 minutes to soften, stirring regularly. Stir in the cream, thyme and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Check the seasoning and set aside.
4.) Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the crumbed chicken pieces until they are golden and cooked through. It is important that the oil does not get hot otherwise the coating may burn before the chicken is properly cooked.
5.) Pop the chicken onto plates and top with mushroom sauce. Place a small handful of lettuce on the side topped with green beans, rosa tomatoes and pumpkin seeds. Add a drizzle of vinaigrette and serve immediately.
The crumbed chicken can be prepared ahead of time. Once the chicken pieces have been coated wrap them up and pop them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. The vinaigrette can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge.