Dugan's Kitchen

Great meals made easy!

Chicken with Almond and Paprika Vinaigrette

Once the holidays are over, I often want to stick to tried and true recipes…or quick meals. After a month of sweets and rich recipes, there is something to be said for simple comfort food. I haven’t been trying many new recipes, and we’ve had family and friend illnesses and deaths, so that’s why you didn’t see any posts during January and early February.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore because I’m am not very good at keeping “resolutions.” I’m far better at taking one day at a time and do the best I can each day to meet my goals. So as the new year begins, I am trying to stick to relatively healthy recipes.

This one is another Cooking Light recipe that I have modified a bit. The combination of the thin, seared chicken, which is a French technique, with the more Spanish type flavor of the vinaigrette makes for an interesting combination. It was paired with a polenta dish, which I have come to appreciate and is a nice balance with the strong flavors of the vinaigrette. Try both recipes during these cloudy days when you are feeling a little bored with the weather and your menu!

Chicken with Almond and Paprika Vinaigrette

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided (you can use regular or sea salt instead)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup unsalted chicken stock (if using salted stock, reduce salt amount a little)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted almonds, finely chopped *
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

If you like Dijon mustard, you can add ¼ teaspoon in step 8. I found the lemon provides enough “bite” without it.

*If you don’t have roasted almonds, put your unsalted almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.


  1. Place each chicken breast half between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper; pound to ¼ inch thick using a meat mallet or small, heavy skillet.
  2. Sprinkle each chicken breast evenly with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 1½ teaspoons oil; swirl.
  4. Add two chicken breast halves; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan and repeat procedures with another 1½ teaspoon oil and remaining two chicken breast halves.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  6. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  7. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  8. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, almonds, and next 4 ingredients, (through the paprika); cook 1 minute or until heated, stirring occasionally.
  9. Spoon almond mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley (you can also sprinkle 1 ounce green olives chopped, if you wish).

Serve with Polenta— (111 calories per serving; 4 servings)


  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2¼ cups water
  • ½ cup stone-ground polenta
  • ¼ cup unsalted chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (or substitute regular or sea salt)
  • 1 ounce Manchego cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)- if you can’t find Manchego, substitute either Percorino Romano or Asiago


  1. Combine onion and olive oil in a large microwave-safe bowl, stirring to coat.
  2. Add 2¼ cups water, polenta, chicken stock, pepper, and salt, stirring to combine.
  3. Microwave on high 8 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese.

Note:  If the polenta mixture is not quite thick enough after 8 minutes, continue microwaving on high at 1-minute intervals, stirring after each minute, until thickened.






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This entry was posted on February 22, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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