From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Shake and Bake Reinvented
Adding chopped nuts to a coating is a great way to add robust flavor to otherwise lean and mild boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But nut coatings are often dense and leaden, and the rich flavor of the nuts rarely comes through. Using a combination of chopped almonds and panko bread crumbs—rather than all nuts—kept the coating light and crunchy, and the bread crumbs helped the coating adhere. Instead of frying the breaded chicken breasts, we found that baking them in the oven was not only easier, but also helped the meat stay juicy and ensured an even golden crust. But it wasn’t until we cooked the coating in browned butter prior to breading the chicken that we finally achieved the deep nutty flavor we sought.
This recipe is best with almonds, but works well with any type of nut. If your chicken breasts have the tenderloin attached, remove it and save it for another use.