I appreciate it when recipes give you suggested sides to make with the main part of the meal but often times, I don’t bother with the sides. I should probably focus on the sides as it would certainly make meal planning easier. But I don’t. I find bits and pieces to focus in on and go from there. This was one such recipe from the March 2014 issue of Cooking Light magazine. It is for chicken plus two sides and I just focused on the chicken. You can read the recipe here.
Now, one important note – the recipe is for hazelnut chicken and my recipe obviously calls it almond chicken. Well, as per usual for me, I couldn’t find any hazelnuts at the store so I chose to use almonds. It was a little disappointing as I had intended to make it as stated but it worked with the almonds as well. It was fortunate that I had some sliced almonds sitting around that I could chop up.
The chicken turned out very well, very juicy and tender coming out of the oven. I had to leave it a little longer than the recipe stated to get finished but that was fine. The only problem I had was that the breaking wasn’t sticking very well when I was browning the chicken. As a result I didn’t leave then in the pan as long as it called for. Plus, I think my oil ran out and some was starting to burn. For the chicken, I had four chicken breasts, two large and two smaller, that I trimmed up and made to be about all the same size (cutting the larger ones in half). I did that to try and ensure even cooking in the oven. I think it worked okay.
For the cranberry part, I used a dry sherry in place of the port/red wine and some red onion for the shallots. I let it reduce farther than the recipe called for on purpose. I wanted a thicker sauce to go with it. The cranberry reduction worked well with the chicken (which is good since they set it up that way in the recipe).
I did this on a weeknight and felt it was very doable. The recipe said it was to be ready in 40 minutes but I think it took less time. Then again, I didn’t make the two sides. I made my own two sides but I felt like it was quicker than 40 minutes for everything to be ready.