Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Nut Butter & Chicken with Curried Tomato Almond Sauce

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.
Nut butter. I had no idea it was so easy to make nut butter. Basically, you just put it in the food processor and process for 2-4 minutes depending on the nuts. I made almond butter from almond slivers.
Now, what to make with the almond butter? The challenge also included the caveat that the nut butter must be used in a savory recipe. Margie provided a number of yummy recipe suggestions and the chicken with curried tomato almond sauce caught my eye.
The dish was only okay to me. There was a bit too much of the garam masala seasoning. I think a hint of the flavor as opposed to overpowering flavor would suit my taste buds. And, even though the nut butter was easy to make, I think I would have preferred a recipe that was very nutty. I didn't taste the almond butter in this recipe. I'm a huge fan of peanut sauce with thai food. Maybe I should give that a try.

Chicken with Curried Tomato Almond Sauce

Printable Recipe 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt to taste

Spice Blend:
1.5 tablespoons garam masala seasoning
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, cut in half pole to pole
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
⅓ cup almond butter
⅓ cup milk
½ to ¾ cup chicken broth or water, more as needed
1 cup frozen peas (optional)

Hot basmati rice for serving
Chopped parsley (optional garnish)
Sliced almonds (optional garnish)

  1. Cook the chicken. If desired, pound chicken to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness to promote even cooking. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; sautĂ© 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cook the chicken in 2 batches, adding more oil if needed for second batch. Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces; set aside on clean plate and keep warm.
  2. Prepare spice blend. Stir garam masala, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook gently for several minutes to infuse the butter with onion flavor. Keep the heat low to avoid burning the butter; a little color is fine. Add the spice blend and garlic and cook for 1 minute or till fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, stir well, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Whisk in almond butter and milk until thoroughly combined with tomato sauce. The almond butter is thick so it takes a while to make a smooth sauce. Return to simmer. Add broth (or water) to sauce to reach desired consistency; return to simmer. Add more broth (or water) as needed to thin sauce as desired.
  4. Remove onion from sauce and discard. Stir frozen peas (if using) into sauce. Transfer sliced chicken to sauce. Simmer gently for a few minutes until peas and chicken are heated through.
  5. Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and/or sliced almonds if desired.


  1. One reason I love the DC challenges is that they get us to try new things. And even when they don't become our favorites, I think they can inspire us. Hoping you'll try this recipe again, adapted for your tastes!

  2. This looks really good, and thanks for the tip on scaling back the garam masala as I think I might try to make this one, looks like something everyone here would eat, always a plus. I like peanut sauce as well, hmmm, which to use...the nut butter I think as I haven't ever made nut butter before. Fun to try something new always. Great photos.

  3. This looks good! I thought about almond butter, but wasn't sold on the recipe choice. I'll have to try it out in another recipe soon. Love the photos!

  4. It looks beautiful! And I love your step-by-step photos. =)


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