- SERVINGS: 2 to 4
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon tequila
- 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds (2 1/2 ounces), chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, such as poblano or jalapeño
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 Hass avocado, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Using a meat pounder, lightly flatten the chicken breasts. In a large shallow dish, combine the lime zest and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice with the tequila and garlic. Add the breasts and turn to coat with the marinade; set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a food processor, finely grind the almonds; do not overprocess or the nuts will form a paste. Transfer to a large plate. Add the cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice with the chile, shallot and 1 teaspoon olive oil. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the tomatoes and avocado.
- Remove the garlic slices from the chicken marinade. Pat the almond mixture on both sides of each breast half to coat thoroughly.
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat. Add 2 of the chicken breast halves, reduce the heat to moderate and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook until browned on the second side and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to plates and wipe out the skillet. Repeat with the remaining butter, oil and chicken. Season the tomato-avocado salad with salt and pepper, spoon it over the chicken and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.