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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 19, 2010

Crispy Nut and Herb Fried Chicken with Creamy Avocado

By Worker Bee
82 Comments

Over the last few weeks as chicken recipes have come pouring in for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook contest, we’ve boiled chicken, grilled chicken, baked chicken and now, finally, we’re frying chicken. Jeanne Chun supplied the recipe for the crispy coating, a simple mixture of nuts and herbs that cooks up into a richly flavorful, finger-lickin’ good version of fried chicken.

Jeanne blends several types of nuts together with herbs for her chicken coating, which yields a richly flavored crust. For a more specific flavor, choose one type of nut to pair with the fresh herb of your choice. A crust of pecans and parsley is sure to please any crowd, with its mild and familiar flavor. Walnuts have a bolder flavor and won’t be overpowered by a generous handful of minced basil. Almonds and dill are a combination we’ll come back to repeatedly, for the extra-crispy texture of the ground almonds and the way the dill retains it’s flavor. For a change of pace, however, macadamia and tarragon is a favorite combination, sweeter than the others with a buttery, rich texture.

Once you decide which combination of nuts and herbs to use, the only challenge left is making sure the chicken is cooked through before the outer coating of nuts burns. The aroma of lightly toasted nuts is a beautiful thing; the rancid smell of burning nuts is not. You can avoid this by pounding the cutlets so they are quite thin or by frying the chicken until the nuts are nicely browned, then finish the cutlets in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes or so.

A coating of nuts fried in oil gives a skinless piece of meat like chicken cutlet the fatty richness that’s missing. Plus, the extra protein from the nuts is so satisfying that you’ll find yourself getting full without overeating. This means there might be leftovers, which is a lucky predicament that’s easily taken care of… Jeanne’s fried chicken just happens to be fantastic over salad the next day.

Ingredients:


  • 2 chicken cutlets
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups raw, unsalted nuts of your choice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped herbs of your choice
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cooking oil of your choice
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Finely grind nuts in food processor, but don’t grind them so long that they turn into paste. Combine the ground nuts with the chopped herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly beat raw eggs in large bowl.  Dip chicken cutlets in the egg wash and coat both sides with the nut mixture.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Place chicken in skillet and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, about five minutes a side.

Top with avocado slices before serving.

If you’re increasing this recipe and cooking several batches of cutlets, change the oil halfway through so it doesn’t become dark and have a burnt flavor.

Variations:

This recipe can be adapted with a variety of spices, herbs and nuts and can also be used with pork cutlets or other meats.

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57 Comments on "Crispy Nut and Herb Fried Chicken with Creamy Avocado"

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i-geek
i-geek
7 years 6 days ago

Oh, yum. Thanks for this. I’m coming out of lurkerdom for this one. I have celiac disease and am always searching for good safe recipes. I’ve done a similar coating for baked fish (ground almonds, Italian herbs, fresh grated parmesan) but never thought to try it on fried chicken! This is going on next week’s dinner menu.

mandi
mandi
6 years 9 months ago

I am getting tested for celiac by eliminating gluten from my diet. It’s been a few months and it’s great except for the fact that I am always constipated now. I have been following the primal blueprint and I don’t know waht to do about staying regular,any help?

Mark Rose
Mark Rose
6 years 9 months ago

You’re better off asking in the forums.

That being said, eat more fiber. Load up on lettuces, and eat more fibrous fruit like apples, mangoes, berries, kiwis, etc.

http://www.fitsugar.com/How-Much-Fiber-Fruit-209893
http://thyroid.about.com/od/loseweightsuccessfully/a/highfiber.htm

mandi
mandi
6 years 9 months ago

Thank you very much,I had no clue there was any forum,I’m new to the website. I’ll try that indeed,thank you again.

Claire
Claire
2 years 8 months ago

I had the same problem and went off dairy. What a change! All was better within literally one day. And I feel great!

Dusty
Dusty
7 years 6 days ago

I have used ground pork rinds sucessfully. This looks even better!

Madeline
Madeline
7 years 6 days ago

Oh wow it looks delish! I love this idea. I too never thought of adding nuts & herbs for the crispy coating. Good one Mark & Thanks Jeanne 😉

Allen
Allen
7 years 5 days ago

Nut crusts are truly classic, “Almondine” is a traditional French preparation of fish or chicken with almonds, white wine, and herbs.

Personally those nut & herb combos sound great, but one that might be good also is a more tropical themed cashew, dried coconut, and lemongrass.

Mmmm….

Carla
Carla
7 years 5 days ago

This looks soooo yummy! Guess what I am eating tomorrow! haha

Spinner
Spinner
7 years 5 days ago

Will certianly be trying this!! And pondering the possibilities of cube steak!

Jean-Patrick
7 years 5 days ago

mmm looks delicious

taihuibabe
7 years 5 days ago

Glad to see this. I’ve done something very similar on both chicken and pork chops.

A combination of almond meal, coconut flour, parmesan & seasonings is sensational on meat cutlets fried in lard.

…Actually, just about anything is good fried in lard.

Primal Toad
7 years 5 days ago

Damn, I love the food combination in this dish. The avocado topping tops it off nicely. Now I just need to actually take the time to make one of these recipes!

Vick
Vick
7 years 5 days ago

Thank you for the nut and herb blends. I did the walnut/basil on swordfish steaks for dinner tonight and it was great.

Karl MacPhee
7 years 5 days ago

This is an answer to my prayers. My wife loves traditional crusty chicken, yet I don’t want to use the traditional methods of preparing the meal…I am the cook so this is on the menu for next time we have chicken.

andrew
7 years 5 days ago

This looks fantastic – shall try it this week.

frances
frances
7 years 5 days ago
Dear Mark, What I do not understand is why you are preaching a “primal” diet and are considering eating chicken, beef and pork a valid part of the diet, these animals are not natural.. they have been hybridized over thousands of years by humans to be used in agriculture, it is strange that we only really eat 3 main land animals that we have selectively breaded…i believe that these animal affect our genetic blue print because their own genetic code has been compromised and manipulated by humans, i would like to see more of a movement to replace chicken with… Read more »
Bret M.
7 years 4 days ago

Mmm…the trolls have been working on their camouflage these days.

In all seriousness though, Frances, the idea with the Primal LIFESTYLE (not diet) is to emulate the metabolism, not the exact diet of prehistoric man. Of course, cavemen didn’t have access to protein shakes either, but Mark gives the go-ahead for the occasional one because it works with a Primal body.

In terms of breeding, you’ll notice Mark EXTENSIVELY supports pasture-raised chickens, grass-fed beef, pastured pork, etc…Animals raised in an environment that is as close to wild as possible.

Tyler Holt
7 years 5 days ago
Frances, Would like to point out that unless you catch it or gather it from the wild today, just about anything you put down your gullet has been manipulated by us humans for thousands of years. Have the nutrients and biochemistry of the animals that we eat today changed from the cave man days…of course they have, but if you’re eating good clean organic free range meats it’s as close as you’re going to get to the wild stuff. There simply aren’t enough wild animals to support the earth’s population today. In essence, take it easy and maybe not take… Read more »
Venna
Venna
7 years 4 days ago

I think I need to get a food processor so I can enjoy nuts in other ways then just whole. Wish I could try this this week but it’s gonna be a while before I can afford to buy a food processor so… just gotta wait and be patient. Unless someone has any other create ways to grind nuts other then using a food processor that could be done with normal kitchen gadgets.

ang
ang
7 years 1 day ago

you could get a cheap (relatively) 30$ coffee grinder for the nuts. It grinds whole pepper in an amazing way also.

Paddy
Paddy
6 years 11 months ago

A coffee grinder is fine, they are about $30 in Australia….
Try that Or just a blender works fine….You don’t have to go fancey schmancy….Let me know how you go?
XX
Paddle

mandi
mandi
6 years 9 months ago

A mortar and pestle work fantastic,I used it last night to make the walnut/basil crust for the chicken.

Tyler
Tyler
7 years 4 days ago

Venna,

May not be quite as easy as a food processor but a blender will do the trick in a pinch!

Happy Groking

-Tyler

Tom
7 years 4 days ago

You can also just put the nuts in a bag or between wax paper and smash them with something heavy for a while. Not perfect but fun and good enough.

Susu
Susu
7 years 4 days ago
A good mortar and pestle is always good to have around, and it certainly gives you a good workout for your meal :). There is much satisfaction relying on old methods in cooking, but having a good food processor on hand is a modern kitchen must! There is a blender out there called a Vita-Mix that supposedly has the power to pulverize an avocado seed to a fine powder, so some hard-core primal followers who want to squeeze every nutrient they can into their diet may want to make the investment, especially in concern for small children (although, be careful… Read more »
Tray
Tray
7 years 4 days ago

We make nut crust “Chicken Fingers” at home all the time. The kids love them and even my teenagers don’t complain that they’re “healthy”!
My go-to crust is almond meal, parmesan, lemon pepper, garlic, and salt. I dip the cutlets in melted butter, then bake them at 375 on a wire rack (lets both sides cook evenly without having to flip them).

I’ve also done macadamia and coconut crusts with salt and pepper, sauteed in coconut oil. GREAT on fish with some pineapple salsa..
Mmm.. getting hungry just typing this!

Tara
7 years 4 days ago

This looks really good! Though my options for chicken have been limited by the fact that I only buy local pastured whole chickens now. I’m not so great at cutting them apart raw, so I cook them whole. Maybe I could practice some butchering techniques so I can make more recipes like this, huh?

IthacaNancy
2 years 9 months ago

It’s really pretty easy to take apart a whole chicken, and it saves lots of money vs. buying parts. I’ve got it down to about 5 minutes, though I’m sure someone who does it more often can beat that time easily. There are good YouTube videos that can guide you through the process.

David
David
7 years 3 days ago

4 CUPS OF NUTS for two chicken cutlets?? Is this a misprint?

Tarek
6 years 11 months ago

I don’t think it’s a misprint, but I used one cup of raw almonds, and it was more than enough for two cutlets. I think what might have been meant was four cups of GROUND (or chopped) nuts. I could be wrong. :]

mandi
mandi
6 years 9 months ago

I wondered the same thing myself,maybe it meant two packages of chicken cutlets? One cup of whole nuts and then ground works fine for two breasts. Then I used a quarter cup of dried herbs with it.

Peachy
Peachy
7 years 3 days ago

Oh YUMMMMMMMMM!

Mark Rose
Mark Rose
7 years 3 days ago

MMMMMMMMM!!

Best chicken I’ve ever made! For two chicken breasts, I used three eggs (should have used two), 2/3 cup of almonds before being diced in a blender, dill, and fried on medium-low heat in extra virgin olive oil.

I paired it with lots of steamed asparagus and some gouda cheese I had kicking around. Delicious!

Kit
Kit
7 years 1 day ago

This recipe looks great! We are a gluten-free family, and this recipe is perfect (and perfectly normal food that a teen would eat anyhow). Thanks!

Chris
Chris
6 years 11 months ago

Just tried this tonight!! mmmmmmm delicious…thinking re mixing it with some coriander and a splash of chilli powder for a texmex theme or coriander and curry powder for indian!

Leaz
Leaz
6 years 11 months ago

Holy Cow! that was GREAT! I just got home from working out & needed to make some lunch. I remembered seeing this recipe and had a package of thinly sliced chicken breast, a package of pecans & almonds, some dried italian seasoning & paprika. I lightly cooked one of the breasts in olive oil on the stove to brown & popped it into a 400deg oven for 10 minutes make sure it was cooked through. WOW, the flavor of the nuts with a little kick from paprika, AWESOME! Thanks for the recipe (now I can go shower :-))

lebowski
lebowski
6 years 11 months ago

Just about everything that could go wrong with the recipe did: Cutlets too thick, coating too pasty, slightly burnt coating.

However, after throwing them in the oven for 10 minutes, the end result is pretty good. Very succulent, and the coating turned out OK.

I would say definitely watch the width of your cutlets and maybe don’t use the macadamia/tarragon pairing. Although this combination is delicious, it turned out too pasty to stick to the chicken.

Will definitely try again.

Clack_Attack
Clack_Attack
6 years 11 months ago

I used a medley of brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, cashews and hazel nuts.

Then I made some Jicama Fries.

And Then spread some tomato paste for a “fried chicken and french fries with ketchup fast food” meal

Great recipe

nico
nico
6 years 11 months ago

could someone let me know what the cup measurement is? I am French and I have never used cups before.
Is it a volume or weight ?
When I tried this recipe with 4 cups of nuts and I probably had enough for 6 or 8 chicken breasts instead of 2.
Thanks

Steve Gunn
Steve Gunn
6 years 11 months ago

It’s a volume measurement. Roughly equivalent to 330 ml if my math holds up…

Hope this helps,

Steve

Joseph
Joseph
6 years 10 months ago

It’s about 230 ml according to google 🙂

Other than that I will definitely be trying this tonight!

Sonia
Sonia
6 years 9 months ago
Sarah Schatz
6 years 10 months ago
Hi Mark, Did you really use all four eggs and four cups of almonds for 2 cutlets? I make this kind of recipe a lot with boneless chicken thighs and 1 egg goes a long way. I also use about 1 1/2 cups of ground nuts to about 1 lb of chicken. If I’m using chicken breasts, I make sure I pound the heck out of it first, otherwise it tends to get burned before it gets cooked through. I like using the boneless chicken thighs for this reason – they are thin and they they stay very moist and… Read more »
Brian Kozmo
Brian Kozmo
6 years 9 months ago
I made this with almonds, garlic, basil, and rosemary and cooked it with olive oil. It was amazing. Though I wouldn’t recommend using a fresh garlic like I did, for the ground up almond will then start sticking together. Also I probably only needed one egg for the chicken breasts (2 of them). And I also learned that they should have been cooked on level 3, and not 6 like I did – the almonds started burning. I think if you cook on an extremely low level, though, you probably won’t need to pound the breasts. The only thing that… Read more »
ElizaGrok
ElizaGrok
6 years 6 months ago

I LOVE this recipe, by far one of my family’s favorite primal fares. We are currently trying baking them in place of frying. The frying is yummy and healthy, but takes SOOOO much time. Hopefully it will work. Thanks so much.

LaurenKM
LaurenKM
6 years 5 months ago

Just made this and it was great and smelled amazing! I used boneless skinless chicken thighs with an almond and dill crust; fried in extra virgin first cold-pressed olive oil. I only used two eggs though for my egg wash because I misread the recipe but it did not seem to make a difference.

sex shops
sex shops
5 years 9 months ago

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Graeme Downie
5 years 8 months ago

Holy smokes!

Literally just polished this off after seeing the recipe a while back…by far the tastiest paleo home cooked meal I’ve made in years.

I used a mix of almonds (60%), cashews (30%) and fresh basil (10%) and cooked on a medium heat. Won’t be the last time I try this one, absolute cracker!

Yasmin
Yasmin
5 years 5 months ago

done this heaps now. its the SHIZ!!

ryesteve
ryesteve
5 years 1 month ago

Yes, the proportions are way off here. I was able to cook 9 pieces of chicken using this amount of eggs and nuts.

One problem I had though was that the nuts don’t want to stick to the chicken. Even after cooking and sitting overnight, once you start eating it, you end up with a plate full of nuts as a side dish. Is there something that can be used as a flour substitute, which is normally used to get this sort of a batter and coating to stick?

Ioana
Ioana
5 years 5 days ago

Just done this and I have to say that it was simply amazing.
We ate it with a side dish of grilled mushrooms and cauliflower.
Absolutely stunning!
Thank you for this awesome recipe.

Jane
Jane
4 years 11 months ago

I am only new to this site. And the whole primal way of eating and concepts are doing my head in. However these recipes certainly encourage me to give this lifestyle a go. Excellent feed back and support to help beginners out like me. Be great to get exact measurements too. I am certainly going to be using these nut based crusts instead of breadcrumbs. Keep up the good work

Danielle
Danielle
4 years 3 months ago

Think this could be baked with a spray coat of olive oil? My oil use is very limited these days because I am preparing for a competition but I’d love to give this a shot! Let me know what you think.

MrsVB
MrsVB
4 years 1 month ago

Ive made this twice now – both times lovely – once with mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, brazils etc) with flat leaf parsley and yesterday made it with walnuts and basil- both were delicious. I did mine in the oven cause i find it easier – 180c and just did 15 mins on each side. I add a bit of parmesan to the nut mix too.

Mrs Wardle
Mrs Wardle
3 years 11 months ago

What a great alternative to use nuts as a cutlet coating. With type 11 diabetes flour is not an item approved by the dieticians. In Australia we can use kangaroo meat, very lean, but must be cooked carefully. We have a lot in the back paddock so must try and knock one off and try it!! Cooking in the new stoneware pans is fantastic, no fat, no stick to anything; just tip over your pan. Maybe I can get a couple or 3 stone off after all!!

IthacaNancy
2 years 9 months ago

I didn’t have an avocado, so I used mayo, but I can see that this would work well in any recipe that calls for breaded chicken cutlets. It was tasty. The nut coating doesn’t adhere very well, but if I was careful, I could get the chicken and nuts in my mouth at the same time. Quite tasty and easy to put together. I used only one egg, a handful of walnuts and a handful of fresh basil for four flattened chicken tenderloins.

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