Chicken in Almond Sauce3/4 cup sliced almonds
6 skinless boneless Free Range chicken breast halves (2 lb total)
1 teaspoon salt
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
> Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 375 F. Spread 1/4 cup almonds on baking sheet and toast in over until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
> Meanwhile, finely grind remaining 1/2 cup almonds in a food processor about 1 minute (don't grind to a paste).
> Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
> Heat a dry 12 inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then toast ground almonds, cinnamon stick, oregano, and bay leaves, stirring constantly, until almonds are pale golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe skillet clean.
> Heat oil in skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute chicken, turning once, until golden, about 5 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate.
> Add bacon to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until bacon begins to render fat and turn golden, about 1 minute. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in ground almond mixture and chicken broth and boil, scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add chicken, turning to coat, then reduce heat to moderate and simmer, covered, until chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and sliced almonds. Discard cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Serve chicken with sauce spooned on top. Serves 4.