“Amandine” means garnished with almonds; chicken amandine is chicken garnished with almonds. It’s the easiest thing to make but you have to be careful about textures. Ideally, the chicken should be crisp and so should the almonds. So, what’s the trick?
Traditionally, the chicken in chicken amandine is fried in butter. Flavor, color… But butter burns fast and I was worried that the chicken would be raw inside while the outside looks nicely browned because of the way that butter turns dark fast in the heat. Worse, the nicely browned exterior might not be as crisp as I’d like. So… I had an idea.
I thought about the bacon fat fried chicken wings and I remembered the wonderful bacon aroma and flavor. I also remembered how wonderfully crisp the chicken skin was. Why not combine bacon fat and butter? I did. And the result was extraordinarily good.
- 6 chicken thigh fillets
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup rendered bacon fat
- 3 cloves garlic lightly pounded and peeled
- 1/3 cup almonds (slivered, sliced, whole... they're all good)
- splash white wine
- juice of half a lemon
Pat the chicken thigh fillets fry with paper towels. Place them between two sheets of cling film and pound lightly to that the thickness is uniform.
Rub the chicken fillets generously with salt and pepper.
Heat the butter and bacon fat in a frying pan.
Arrange the chicken fillets in the hot fat, skin side down, in a single layer.
Cook the chicken fillets over medium heat until the skins are browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook the opposite sides for three minutes. Scoop out the chicken and transfer to a serving plate.
In the remaining fat, add the garlic and cook over low heat until softened and aromatic.
Turn up the heat to medium and add the almonds to the fat. Cook, stirring often, for about a minute or until lightly browned.
Scoop out the garlic and almonds and scatter on top of the chicken.
To the remaining fat, add a splash of white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Let boil for a minute or so.
Turn off the heat. Squeeze the lemon juice directly into the pan. Stir. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken amandine. Serve hot.