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Nut-Crusted Chicken Breasts

Nut-Crusted Chicken Breasts


  • 6 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in almonds and coconut and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer almond mixture to shallow dish and stir in lemon zest, thyme, and cayenne. Spread flour in second shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs, water, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in third shallow dish.
  4. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and pound to even 1/2-inch thickness. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and, with sharp knife, cut 1/16-inch-deep slits on both sides of breasts, spaced 1/2 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working with 1 breast at a time, dredge in flour, dip in egg mixture, and then coat with almond mixture, pressing gently to adhere; transfer to plate.
  5. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place 2 chicken breasts in skillet and cook until deep golden brown and crisp and chicken registers 160 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  6. Drain chicken briefly on paper towels, then transfer to prepared rack and keep warm in oven. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels and repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons ghee and remaining chicken. Serve with lemon wedges.


  • Adapted with permission from Paleo Perfected by America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, 2016)
  • Photo credit: Carl Tremblay


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