Fried chicken cravings satisfied without the guilt

So, the kitchen is still unfinished and I am still pregnant with not very long to go at all. Two things that make for grumpiness and general disatisfaction at Bell Towers. We have quite literally survived on takeaways and the kindness of family and friends for nearly a month. I know, I know... I could have rustled up nutritious salads and utlilised the microwave to steam veggies and rice. Put simply, I couldn't be arsed. I'm too big and fat and full of aches and pains and moans. I'm so moany I'm bored even of hearing myself moan. Anyway, I digress (into a mirage of moaning.)

To set the scene, rather than crave nutritious food stuffs when preggers I tend to crave McDonalds burgers, McDonalds sausage and egg McMuffins, takeaway Chinese, takeaway Indian and of course non alcoholic shandy. And then one evening recently I started to crave fried chicken. Even I couldn't do KFC. It's just not right. As anyone who's ever read a red top knows, they fry beaks and heads and all sorts. (McDonalds would never do such a thing of course...) Luckily the kitchen is back to a semi working condition so an experiment was called for.

Having run out of frozen home made breadcrumbs I decided to experiment with ground almonds and the result was frankly, really rather nice. The almond crumb is dry and crispy but manages to completely encase the chicken so that it almost steams in the almondy jacket leaving it tender and moist and lovely. We ate it with cous cous but it would be equally good with chips and some tomato sauce. Or spicy rice. Charlie liked the chicken dipped in strawberry flavoured yoghurt but then he's gone a bit Heston on us recently. He did offer me a try but I declined.


- chicken breasts, cut into 2cm thick fillets with any fat and skin removed
- 1 beaten egg
- a handful of plain flour with a bit of pepper added and mixed in
- a handful of ground almonds

Preheat the oven to Gas 7 and find a baking tray. Pop it on the top shelf of the oven to heat.

Same rules as per any battering of fish, chicken etc - get a production line going. You need three small plates. One with the flour on, one with the beaten egg and one with the ground almonds. Be prepared for your hands to end up in a sticky mess.

Take a strip of chicken and dip in the flour first, then the egg, then the almonds. Make sure the strip is completely covered in almond - no little naked areas anywhere. Then pop on a large clean plate. Continue until all the chicken is gone. Then take the preheated tray from the oven and place the strips on it ensuring they don't touch. Pop back in the oven on the top shelf and wait for about 10 mins. The strips are cooked when the almonds start to go a little brown in parts and when prodded they feel firm, rather than rubbery like raw chicken.

If serving to toddlers/babies let them cool first. They seem to hold their heat more than regular breaded chicken you see. Mr B and I felt that there's scope for the flour to be played about with. Perhaps with a little ground chilli or smoked paprika or some tarragon. Depending on how Eastern your accompaniment is of course. Would be yum with home made ketchup too. Or good old Heinz failing that.
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