Southwestern Recipes

Almond Chicken (Pollo Almendrado)

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  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 3 whole chicken breasts, split, boned, and skinned
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 fresh Anaheim or poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded, de-veined, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Tomato wedge
  • Fresh cilantro sprig


  1. Process almonds, about 1/4 at a time, with on/off pulses in electric spice grinder to fine powder. Dip chicken into almonds on small plate to coat all sides; reserve remaining almonds.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and the butter in deep 10-inch skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Add as many breasts as will fit in single layer without crowding. Cook until chicken is light brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, reducing heat if almonds get too dark; remove to plate.
  3. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding 1 tablespoon oil, if needed.
  4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the onion to skillet; sauté over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add chile, chopped tomato and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add stock, salt and reserved almonds; heat over high heat to boiling. Add chicken to skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove chicken to serving dish; keep warm, covered.
  7. Add cream to cooking liquid; heat over medium-high heat to boiling. Cook and stir until sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes; pour over chicken.
  8. Garnish with tomato wedge and cilantro.

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