Almond Chicken with 3-B (Balsamic, Blackberry BBQ) Dipping Sauce

Surprisingly easy to make – this is one of those recipes I firmly believe that anyone can make, and make easily, if they just follow the instructions.  If at all possible, make the sauce the day before as its flavours will only grow more enticing as the sauce has a chance to marry.

Almond Chicken (for 2)

1 Cup Almonds3 Chicken Breasts (thawed) cut into strips approximately .5 inches wide
3 Eggs
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 Cup Corn (or Potato) Starch
1 Cup Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Using a coffee grinder, blender, or even just a mortar and pestle if needed, grind the almonds down to a powder.  Place the almond powder into a large bowl along with the salt and pepper, ground cloves, and 1/2 cup of starch, 1/2 cup of flour.  Mix these ingredients together well – this will be your breading.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly whip the 3 eggs.  Place this bowl next to the breading one.
  • In a third (and final) bowl, place the remaining 1/2 cups of starch and flour (again, mixed together well)
  • Simply take a strip of the thawed chicken, dip it on all sides in the flour/starch mix, then run in through the egg so it is completely covered, then roll it in the almond mixture.  Place the breaded strip onto an oven-sprayed sheet pan, and repeat until all your strips are breaded.
  • Place your sheet pan into an oven set to 400 degrees (on Bake), and let cook for ten minutes, then use a spatula to flip the strips over before baking an additional ten minutes.  Break one of the strips open to make sure the chicken is cooked through, and then serve!

My personal approach to the dipping sauce is something nice and spicy, to play off the sweetness of the almond chicken.  This is a recipe I’ve come up with to suit my own personal tastes.  (Ideally, I would use aji amarillo or aji panca (really really hard to get up here in Canada) instead of the jalapeno, but I have to make do with what I can get…)

3-B Dipping Sauce

1 C BBQ sauce (my wife buys Bulls-Eye, but any strong sauce would do)1/4 cup Blackberries, crushed
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp aji panca paste, OR 2 roasted and pureed jalapenos, OR 3 Tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp Lime Juice

Mix the ingredients together well, place in a sealed bag or jar, and let sit overnight for the flavours to ‘marry’.  Adjust the spice as needed by either adding or reducing the amount of peppers/hot sauce in the dip.

**Note: for those of you that know me, you’ll know that I can’t eat/drink lime juice, so I will use minced ginger instead of lime juice, just to give the dip a slightly different ‘kick’ beyond the pure spice.



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