Happy middle of the week, everyone! Before I even go any further, I have to wish my sister a very happy birthday! She is coming to visit in just a few days, and I am SUPER excited. It definitely gets hard when neither Zach nor I have any immediate family members within 1500 miles of us. We love where we live and you’d basically have to drag us back to the east coast, but it definitely gets hard sometimes. So yay for Kara coming to visit! In addition to Kara coming to visit, my mom will be here a few days after that, and my cousin will be here a few days AFTER that. With moving into a temporary residence until our house is finished being built and going on copious amounts of hikes while family is visiting, it’s going to be a busy first week of July!
This is why I am all about super duper easy recipes until they arrive. As Zach and I continue to work our way through the bottomless pit that is our pantry, we have to get super creative when dinner rolls around. Speaking of my pantry…why did no one ever tell me I had sooooo much stuff? I swear. I am a hoarder when it comes to condiments, jams and flours. It’s insane what is hidden inside my pantry! I am officially making it my personal goal to NOT let this happen when we move. Either that, or I will have Zach build me a 200 square foot pantry in the basement. Hmmmm, now there is an idea!
OK, before I come up with any other crazy ideas (I can already feel Zach’s glare penetrating my skull), let’s talk about these almond-crusted sweet and spicy chicken strips. So, just recently I posted a recipe over on PinkWhen’s website (in which I am a contributor) for sweet and stick chicken strips. They were so good you guys. So when Blue Diamond asked me to post a recipe highlighting the new Sriracha Blue Diamond Almonds, I knew I had to adapt that old recipe using almond meal instead of AP flour.
I pulverized those almonds, which by the way are the most addictive, amazing almonds I have ever had in my life (for realsies), into a powder. I then dredged chicken strips into corn flour, egg wash and then the ground up almonds. Baked to a brown and crispy perfection, these spicy chicken strips are then brushed with a sweet and spicy glaze made of honey, sriracha and some tabasco for some extra heat. Dip these babies in a cooling ranch and this recipe becomes the perfect family-friendly weeknight dinner recipe that isn’t so bad for you!
Recipe for these almond-crusted sweet and spicy chicken strips are below! Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends! xo
First prepare your ranch dressing. To the pitcher of your blender, add the mayo, yogurt, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, chives, dill and a dash of salt and black pepper. Blend on high until the ranch dressing is smooth and creamy. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with a non-stick spray and set aside.
To the bowl of your food processor, add the almonds. Pulse until the almonds are almost completely powder. A few small chunks may remain. Transfer to a shallow bowl. To a second shallow bowl, combine the eggs and water. Whisk to combine. To a third shallow bowl, combine the corn flour (or rice flour) and a dash of salt and black pepper.
Taking each chicken strip, dip it first in the corn flour. Shake it to get rid of an excess flour. Next dip it into the egg, and lastly dip it into the ground almonds. Press to adhere where needed. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the chicken with a non-stick spray and place it in the oven. Bake the chicken for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is crispy and brown. You may need to turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to get a brown crust. Remove from heat and set aside.
While your chicken is baking, prepare your sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine the sriracha, honey and tabasco. Heat over low heat, whisking to combine. Once warmed through, remove from heat.
Very gently toss the chicken in the sauce. You may also drizzle or brush the sauce on top, and place it under the broiler for a few minutes. I find that this yields a better result.
Serve immediately with homemade ranch dressing. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!