As I flipped through my copy of Betty’s “Easy Entertaining Cookbook,” first published in 1959, searching for inspiration for weeknight dinners, I came across a recipe for almond oven-fried chicken. The recipe seemed easy enough, with only a few lines of instructions with substitutions from the previous baked chicken recipe. I liked the idea of a baked chicken (with fried chicken flavor) and was also drawn to the idea of using crunchy almonds instead of a heavy flour mixture. And the spices seemed right too, so I gave it a try. The results were perfect, moist chicken with a toasted, nutty exterior. The added protein of the almonds is a bonus, but the flavor and texture was the real perk!
The chicken bakes for almost an hour, the perfect time to get the family ready for dinner and whip up a few side dishes. My mind then started blowing up with ideas for what to serve with the chicken, as it’s an ideal companion for many of my family’s favorite sides. Loaded baked potatoes came to mind, as did mashed sweet potatoes. And a green side is needed too (my mama always served something green for weeknight meals). A green bean salad or simple sautéed green beans would be perfect!
Luckily, the chicken is easy enough that we'll be making it a staple for weeknight dinners, trying new side dishes along the way.