Marks Daily Apple
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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:

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  1. 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 tender.

    I love your picture and also love adding avocado to the chicken.

    Sarah Schatz wrote on July 26th, 2010
  2. 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 didn’t work out, was that about 25% of the almond meal didn’t stick all that well to the chicken as it was cooking. Is the solution here to cook with another oil/fat?

    Brian Kozmo wrote on September 10th, 2010
  3. 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.

    ElizaGrok wrote on November 29th, 2010
  4. 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.

    LaurenKM wrote on December 26th, 2010
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    sex shops wrote on September 12th, 2011
  6. 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!

    Graeme Downie wrote on September 30th, 2011
  7. done this heaps now. its the SHIZ!!

    Yasmin wrote on January 21st, 2012
  8. 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?

    ryesteve wrote on May 2nd, 2012
  9. 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.

    Ioana wrote on June 20th, 2012
  10. 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

    Jane wrote on July 24th, 2012
  11. 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.

    Danielle wrote on March 7th, 2013
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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

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