Almond Chicken (Pollo Almendrado)

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2 hours 6 Servings Print RecipeEmail Recipe


4 1⁄2poundchicken (cut into pieces)
3tablespoonlime juice
2 1⁄2teaspoonsalt (divided)
  ground black pepper
1poundtomatoes (peeled & seeded)
6 peppercorns
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
1⁄4cupcold water
6tablespoonlard (divided)
2slicestale french bread (each 1-1/2 inches thick)
1cupwhole almonds (blanched)
  tomato wedges
  avocado slices


Place chicken in large baking dish; sprinkle with lime juice and 2 teaspoons salt. Add pepper to taste. Let stand covered at room temperature 1 hour.

Meanwhile, puree 1 pound tomatoes, the peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in blender or food processor.

Heat lard in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Fry bread, turning once, until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove bread; drain on paper toweling. Add bread to tomato mixture in blender; puree until smooth.

Saute almonds in lard until golden. Add almonds to blender container; puree until smooth, adding 1/4 cup additional water if mixture is too thick. (Mixture should be spreadable.)

Heat oven to 350F. Brush baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings. Spread dish with a third of the tomato-almond puree. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Arrange chicken pieces over puree; cover with remaining puree. Drizzle with remaining pan drippings. Bake uncovered until chicken is tender and topping is golden, about 45 minutes. Garnish with tomato wedges and avocado slices.

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