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Almond crusted chicken with lemon arugula

With Kern County producing 80% of the world's almonds, there's so many ways to cook with this nut besides just eating it plain as a snack! I've created the most delectable and healthy dish with my almond crusted chicken. Between the crunch of the "breading," the juiciness of the chicken, and the bite of my lemony arugula, this recipe tastes super decadent, but it's actually GOOD for you! This meal is packed with lean protein, wholesome fats and is also paleo, Whole30 approved, gluten-free and sugar-free. Also, don't get intimated by the steps of this dish, this is easy to make and even better to eat! Let's get cooking!


You'll need:


1 pack of thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts (usually contains 4 breasts)

1 cup blanched almond flour

1 cup whole raw almonds

2 eggs

2 teaspoons garlic power

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt (plus additional for seasoning the chicken)

1 teaspoon ground pepper (plus additional for seasoning the chicken)

1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil

2 cups arugula

2 lemons


STEP 1:


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.


STEP 2:


Finely chop your whole almonds, but leave some texture. You don't want it so fine it looks ground, so leave some chunks.


Then, lay out 3 large bowls:

Bowl 1: whisk together 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon water, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper

Bowl 2: combine almond flour, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper,

2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper

Bowl 3: finely chopped almonds


STEP 3:


Coat the bottom of a large skillet with about 1/4 cup of olive oil, however you may need more depending on your pan! The entire bottom of the pan should be covered with oil. Then, turn the stove onto medium high heat.


STEP 4:


Generously season each chicken breast (both sides) with salt and pepper. Remember, chicken needs salt! Then, dredge each breast one at a time:


FIRST: the chicken goes in the almond flour (shake off excess)

SECOND: the chicken goes in the egg mixture (shake off excess)

THIRD: the chicken goes in the chopped almonds (shake off excess)


STEP 5:


Sear the chicken in your heated skillet for about 5 minutes per side or until the nuts are toasted and golden brown. Depending on your stove, you may need to take the chicken off earlier, you don't want the nuts to burn -- this will make them taste bitter!


Then, transfer the chicken breasts to a wire baking rack on top of a sheet pan. Place the chicken in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.


STEP 6:


Lightly dress 2 cups of arugula with 1 whole squeezed lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.


STEP 7:


Remove your chicken from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Then, top each piece of chicken with some of your arugula and more lemon slices (this is where that second lemon comes in!)


Health benefits:


This dish couldn't be better for you! Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a great source of protein. They're extremely lean and also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as B6, which is vital for the production of our red blood cells. People are often short in B vitamins, so this is a great thing to eat! Almonds are also protein powerhouses, and strengthen our hair, skin, and nails. They're also packed with fiber! The eggs further drive home the boost of protein and the olive oil supplies us with healthy fats. Plus, you're getting a dose of greens from the arugula. This dish is a win, win! Enjoy!



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