Nut-Crusted Chicken Breasts

"Adapted from Cook's Illustrated. Almonds work best, but any nut will do. If your chicken breasts have the tenderloin attached, remove it."
photo by diner524 photo by diner524
photo by diner524
photo by Chicagoland Chef du Jour photo by Chicagoland Chef du Jour
Ready In:




  • Preheat oven to 350°F Poke each breast several times with a fork. Sprinkle each breast with 1/2 tsp kosher salt, coating both sides. Refrigerate, uncovered, 15-20 minutes.
  • Process nuts in food processor, about 20 1-second pulses, until it looks like coarse meal. Heat butter in skillet over medium flame until melted. Swirl constantly until butter is brown and smells nutty, 4-5 minutes. Add shallot and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until shallot is soft, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add nuts and panko and stir often until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a shallow dish and stir in lemon zest, thyme and cayenne.
  • Beat egg, mustard and black pepper in a second bowl; place flour in a third dish. Pat breasts dry. Dip breasts, one at a time, into flour, patting off excess, then into egg, then into nut mixture. Scoop nut mixture on top of the chicken and press it down hard to make it adhere. Place breast on a rack placed over a cookie sheet, then prepare the second one.
  • Place rack in lower-middle of preheated oven and bake until internal temperature of chicken is 160F, 20-25 minutes. Rest 5 minutes, then serve with lemon wedges.

Questions & Replies

  1. I love this recipe! I've made it multiple times but I'm shocked by the calorie count. Can anyone explain how this breaks down to 800 calories per serving?


  1. This recipe is AMAZING! I followed the recipe to a "T" using (whole) almonds. I would suggest chopping them a bit before putting them in the food processor. The amounts were spot on, I didn't have any nut/ panko mixture left over. Don't forget the lemon wedges @ serving, it really brightens up the chicken. Also, baking on a wire rack is critical so that top & bottom stay crunchy. I served with recipe#256364 , steamed broccoli and a tomato avocado salad. Thanks a bunch Dr. G. This is a real keeper and company worthy.
  2. I love almonds, so when I saw this recipe in Chicagoland Chef du Jour's "Best of 2012" cookbook, I had to tag/try it. I made this for one serving, my lunch, and followed it as written. This would be a great recipe to serve company (that enjoys almonds), but I am the only one in our family that enjoys them, so I usually make those type of recipes for my lunch. I tried it first, without putting on the lemon juice, which is good, but really enjoyed the chicken once I squeezed the lemon juice on it. Thanks for sharing a great tasty recipe.


I'm a 48 y/o gay Jewish man in the suburbs immediately north of New York City. I'm a general internist, practicing and teaching at a medical college north of NYC. I also earned a Masters in Public Health degree in 2013. After a Walt Disney World trip in Dec 2006 where I had to rent an electric scooter because I couldn't manage the walking, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery, which was done Feb 28, 2007. I lost 160 lbs (though I've gained back about 60 of that since). I can't eat as much as I used to, so I want every bite to be extra good!
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