Almond-Crusted Chicken Breast and Spinach Salad with Caramelized Orange and Shallot Dressing

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While leafing through some accumulated notes, printouts, and clippings, I came across this incredible recipe and immediately imagined the photo.  It likely originated from America’s Test Kitchen.   The Spinach Salad recipe is a perfect accompaniment!

Serves 4


4 chicken breasts, about 8 oz each
4 oz (1 cup) sliced almonds, processed to crumbs
½ cup panko
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons pepper
6 Tablespoons canola oil

For the Salad:
1 shallot, minced fine
2 T oil
6 oz baby spinach
2 oranges



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Quarter one orange.  Set aside to squeeze over each plate when serving.  Remove the zest of the second orange with a microplane.  Set aside for use in the egg wash.  Then, cut away the peel of the second orange, cut into 8 sections, and dice each section into 1/2-inch pieces.  Set aside for use in the dressing.
  3. In a cake pan or other shallow dish, mix together almonds and panko.
  4. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together eggs, mustard, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon orange zest.
  5. Over med-high in nonstick skillet, heat 6 Tablespoons oil.
  6. Dip chicken in egg, allowing excess to drip off.  Then coat in almond mixture, pressing breading into chicken, gently shake off excess.
  7. Place chicken in oil and cook 3 minutes until brown. Flip, and cook 3 more minutes,  Temperature should read about 155 degrees
  8. Keep warm in 200 degree oven where the chicken will continue to cook to 160 degrees.  Depending on the thickness of the chicken, the crust may brown well before the chicken is done. In this case, finish the cooking process in a 350 degree oven until the chicken has reached 160 degrees.
  9. Toss out any remaining oil and browned bits from the skillet.   Wipe skillet with a paper towel.
  10. Place pan back over med-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil.  Add diced orange.  Cook 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until they brown and start to fall apart.  Add another 1 Tablespoon oil.  Remove from heat and add shallots and any remaining zest. Use residual heat from the pan to soften shallot.  Pour over baby spinach and toss.
  11. Plate chicken and salad.  Using the quartered orange, Squeeze juice over both chicken and salad on each plate.


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