Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
19 Jun

Crispy Nut and Herb Fried Chicken with Creamy Avocado

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.


  • 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


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.


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

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. 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.

    MrsVB wrote on April 30th, 2013
  2. 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!!

    Mrs Wardle wrote on July 5th, 2013
  3. 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.

    IthacaNancy wrote on August 26th, 2014

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2015 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!