Almond Crusted Chicken

Healthy Almond-crusted Chicken PaillardsINGREDIENTS:

• 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2/3 cup sliced unblanched almonds
• 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
• 2 large eggs
• 20 cherry tomatoes, red or yellow, halved
• 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
• Lemon wedges for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Place each breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, opening out the fillets or "tenders." Pound gently with a mallet or rolling pin to an even thickness, working out from the center. Do not make them thinner than about 3/8. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper.

Pulse the almonds a few times in an mini or standard food processor until coarsely chopped; do not pulverize. Combine the almonds on a plate with the panko and half of the tarragon. Lightly whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl with a pinch of salt. Dip each piece of chicken into the eggs, letting excess drip away, then press both sides of the chicken into the panko coating. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set the crust. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes and scallions in a bowl and add the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the remaining tarragon. Toss to coat and set aside.

Heat a 12" skillet over medium heat and add the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the butter has foamed, place the chicken in the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, turning once, until the crust sets and turns golden brown, 3 to 3½ minutes on each side. Cut the paillards in halves or thirds, arrange on a platter, and serve immediately with the tomato salad spooned on top and garnished with lemon wedges.

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