My Recipe Box

Almond-Crusted Chicken and Nectarine Salad with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 99

This time of year, salad takes center stage. It's fast, it's fresh, and a little protein makes it a complete no-fuss meal. In this dish, the chicken is crunchy, the nectarines sweet, and the tangy dressing ties it all together. If you can’t find chicken tenderloins, look for thin cutlets, which work just as well.

For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs. sour cream
  • 1 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 lb. chicken tenderloins, pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 Tbs. vegetable oil
For the salad:
  • 6 cups torn tender lettuce (such as butter lettuce, oakleaf, Red Sails) or arugula or both
  • 2 small to medium ripe nectarines (or peaches), halved, pitted, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the dressing:

In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, vinegar, and honey. Slowly whisk in the oil to blend. Stir in the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the chicken:

Lightly beat the eggs in a wide, shallow dish. Pulse the almonds and flour together in a food processor until the almonds are chopped; transfer the almond mixture to another wide, shallow dish. Season the chicken on all sides with 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Dip one piece of chicken at a time in the eggs. Shake off the excess and dredge in the almond mixture, pressing lightly to help it adhere. Set aside on a wire rack.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Working in batches, cook the chicken until light golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a paper-towel-lined plate when done. Between batches, remove any stray almonds from the pan and add more oil if necessary.

Assemble the salad:

In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, arugula, or both and the nectarines with about half of the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 dinner plates. Divide the chicken among the plates, overlapping the pieces on top of the salad. Drizzle additional dressing over the chicken and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Add some toasty Grilled Garlic Bread and finish the meal with a Raspberry Fool.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 680, Fat (kcal): 41, Fat Calories (g): 370, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Protein (g): 50, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 23, Carbohydrates (mg): 31, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 10, Sodium (g): 700, Cholesterol (g): 200, Fiber (g): 7,

Photo: Scott Phillips

My husband and I loved this chicken. The crunchy nuts and the wonderful dressing made this a very special recipe. So I could have it for two dinners, I did not cut the recipe in half as I often do, but only cooked half of the chicken each night and made a fresh salad each time. I also made the recipe for homemade buttermilk that another reviewer suggested. It worked perfectly. Along with mashed potatoes and a vegetable, it was a really great meal.

My family and I rate recipes 1-10; this got an 11 :0 )

Made this for dinner last night ~ very tasty and simple. Based on previous reviews of the chicken being a little bland, I added a little garlic and parsley to the almond mix as we like things well seasoned, and it was really great that way. Added some crumbled goat cheese and tomatoes out of the garden to the salad. Easy enough to do on a weeknight - really great summer meal; will make again.

I have made this salad several times for for my husband and myself. The only change I made after the first time was to bread and brown boneless chicken breasts and then just slice them up for the salad--it cuts down a bit on the breading but you still get the wonderful taste. The last time I made it was for a family gathering and my son-in-law asked where I had been hiding the recipe--it was a winner with the entire family.

This was delicious, the chicken is crunchy. It make a very good low calorie meal. I doubled the dressing and used spring mix for the greens. To make buttermilk, put a tablespoon of lemon juice in a measuring cup. add 3/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of cream. Let stand 5 minutes.

Delicious!! Loved it. Made it exactly as written but doubled the dressing, which was a wise move. Had enough dressing for the salad and the chicken.

Absolutely lovely! I had pretty much everything on hand, except for nectarines but I DID have a mango. The flesh is similar and the sweet/tangy factor similar as well. It worked so well. We loved the freshly made, simple dressing, and the crunch and flavor of the almonds was so nice. This is a keeper.

We loved this salad, but with a few changes. First, I added a bit of extra honey to the dressing as I thought it was too vinegary, and I didn't have chives so I used scallions instead. Then, when I made the chicken, I seasoned it with the salt and pepper and also some seasonings from a packet of Lipton's Recipe Secrets Savory Herb and Garlic. And I added a little extra salt and pepper to the flour/almond mixture, which was part sliced almonds and part slivered (I didn't have enough sliced). It is a bit early for peaches or nectarines, so I used a ripe pear instead along with some sliced cherry tomatoes. All in all it was a wonderful mixture of tastes, and I can't believe the peaches could be any better than the pear. I think adding some avocado would also be good. This recipe lends itself to interpretation, so go for it. This will be on a consistent list of light suppers for us. Great idea!

I read the other reviews and am now wondering if my taste buds are off. The salad was beautiful, and we felt quite virtuous having a salad for dinner, but we found it to be really bland. The dressing was just kind of "eh" and the chicken lacked any real flavor as well. I usually love Fine Cooking recipes but I won't make this one again.

This was a great recipe. My husband loved the almond-crusted chicken and the inclusion of nectarines. I didn't have white balsamic vinegar, so I substituted white wine vinegar with no problems. I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this salad was the next day for lunch, with cold chicken.

We didn't have white balsamic, so we just used regular. And it turned out amazingly well. The almonds give the chicken a great crunch that pairs very nicely with the tanginess of the dressing, and the sweetness of the fruit. It was a great success, will definitely make it again. 5 stars!

I loved everything about this salad except the dressing. The white balsamic vinegar has too strong a flavor and overwhelms the dressing. Next time, I'll try a different vinegar--maybe white wine vinegar. On the other hand, I loved the almond-crusted chicken tenders. My nectarines were perfectly ripe, and they worked very well with the chicken. My husband, who is not much of a salad-eater, ate the almond-crusted chicken by itself, and really liked it.

Great dressing. Great flavors. Will make again.

This is a wonderful choice for dinner on a warm spring day. I followed the recipe as written and would not change anything. We will enjoy this meal many more times.

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