Almond Crusted Chicken with Blue Cheese, Bacon, & Mushroom (Stuffing)
2 Chicken breasts
1/4 cup almonds, lightly crushed
Herbs of choice (I used mainly thyme and a punch of cumin)
Salt & pepper
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 pieces of bacon (or 4!)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, remove stems and slice
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 Tbsp Blue cheese (or more if you like!)
1/2 cup cream (optional, if making sauce instead of stuffing)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees
- Line baking sheet with foil, lay out bacon and bake for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through, until crispy. Remove to paper towel.
- Add butter to pan over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and wilt. Add shallots, some salt and pepper to taste, and cook until shallots are transparent. Remove to bowl.
- When bacon is cool enough to handle, break or chop into small pieces, add to bowl with mushrooms and shallots. Add blue cheese and mix lightly with fingers.
- IF STUFFING, slice a pocket into the breast and use fingers to gently widen the interior without making the entry hole too large (keeps the ingredients from spilling out during cooking). Take 1/2 of the blue cheese/bacon/shallot/mushroom mix and stuff into the pocket, press opening closed as best you can.
IF COATING, leave chicken intact and move on to step 6
- Mix herbs, some salt and pepper to taste, coat chicken breasts with herbs
- Mix together honey and dijon, coat herbed chicken breasts
- Roll each breast in crushed almonds. Place crusted breasts on the same foil-lined sheet you cooked your bacon on (should have bacon fats/oils still on it)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until internal temp is to your liking (I am a 165 girl, public health will tell you otherwise, but I'm a rebel like that).
- IF YOU DID NOT STUFF, add 1/4 cup cream to pan and heat over medium-low to reduce by half. Add blue cheese/bacon/shallot/mushroom mix to reduced cream and heat through, stirring until blue cheese melts completely.
- Let chicken rest about 5 minutes before serving.
- NOTE: If you made a sauce, I recommend putting it in a little pool on the plate and then placing the chicken breast on top of the sauce. It's a slightly more elegant presentation, IMO, than a lumpy sauce poured over the top, obscuring the lovely browned almond crust.