Chicken with Almonds

chicken with almonds
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This Chicken with Almonds recipe is an ode to a childhood favorite

This recipe is one that I grew up eating on a regular basis. We ordered it at our favorite Chinese restaurant, and my mom made it at home often. I have been after this recipe for many years. It was written in a cookbook by my mom, then lost. One day, I was in the kitchen, about to fix up some Spicy Chicken Manchurian, when I decided I was going to attempt making Chicken with Almonds from memory. I vaguely remembered my mom making it, and with just half of the ingredients in mind, I began mixing and experimenting with sauces until I had my “Aha!” moment.

Why this recipe works so well

I know cooking recipes from different cuisines can be daunting. There are so many specialty ingredients that can be daunting to collect, especially if you don’t use them often. I have made this recipe using easy to find sauces and ingredients. It still has amazing flavor, but this chicken with almonds is very approachable. I have also listed a few substitutions and variation in the recipe notes below to make this even easier.

There are some steps to create the classic chicken with almonds you grew up on

If you follow a few key steps this will turn out great every time you make it. You need to fry the almonds before adding them. Adding simple blanched almonds will not give the same flavor or texture. Another thing to keep in mind is the succession of steps. Cooking all the ingredients in the correct order, and for the correct amount of time keeps the chicken tender and the vegetables vibrant and crunchy. This isn’t a difficult recipe, but it requires some attention to detail.

chicken with almonds

Chicken with Almonds

Sconce&Scone
This tastes just like that classic Chicken with Almonds we all grew up having, but it's way better than takeout!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Wok

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound boneless chicken, thinly sliced thighs or breast fillets
  • 1 tbsp ginger crushed
  • 2 tbsp oil flavorless
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 onion, cut into squares
  • 1/2 cup carrots sliced
  • 1 cup blanched almonds pan fried
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced for garnish

For the sauce

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce low sodium preferred
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a wok and sauté the chicken with the ginger. Then add the seasonings and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 8 minutes. Add in the chopped vegetables and sauté for just two minutes, so their colors intensify, but they don’t lose their crunch.
  • In a small bowl add the ingredients listed under sauce. Mix until everything is dissolved. Add the sauce to the chicken and let it come to a boil. Lower the flame and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it thickens slightly and the bubbles around the edges become larger.
  • For the almonds, in a small frying pan add 1/2 tsp of oil and saute the almonds until they turn a light golden brown. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt, toss, then add them to the chicken and garnish with the sliced green onions. Enjoy with steamed rice or egg fried rice.

Notes

Variations. You can use any vegetables you enjoy, but the classics are onions, carrots and peas. You can substitute the vegetables listed for bell peppers, broccoli, or bamboo shoots (I’ve only ever used the canned ones). If you don’t have sambal oelek you can use sriracha. 
Balance the spices. This recipe isn’t overly spicy or salty, but always taste and adjust according to your personal preference. 
Tips to get the gravy right. If the gravy gets too thick you can always loosen it up with a splash of chicken stock or water. If I don’t have homemade stock I just dissolve a chicken cube in water. It has great flavor either way. I use half a cube for 1 cup of water. 
The crunchy almonds. If you’re going to add the almonds, you should add them the right way. Lightly frying the almonds and adding a pinch of salt elevates their flavor and texture, making this dish memorable.  
Keyword Almond, Chicken with Almonds, Desi Chinese, Pan Asian

Have you tried this classic takeout recipe?

I love hearing your feedback! Did you try this recipe? If you did, I’d love to know how it turned out in the comments below!

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