Pollo Almendrado Rojo

I have a ton of old cookbooks that I love to read and re-read. One of my favorites is the Better Homes and Gardens Mexican cookbook from 1977. This book tried to introduce traditional Mexican cooking to a broader audience. While the ideas are great, the book doesn’t have pictures for very recipe. Even though there was no picture for it, the instructions for Pollo Almendrado Rojo were so interesting that I had to make this dish.

The name translates to red chicken with almonds. Some of the cookbook’s instructions didn’t quite make sense to me, so I redid things a bit to make it simpler and better suited for modern tastes.

One thing I did was to use a lot more spices and to marinate the chicken with those spices for a period of time. I did just 30 minutes but you could marinate it overnight in the refrigerator to give the chicken more flavor. I also pureed the tomatoes and almonds into a smooth paste to create a lush sauce. I also cooked the dish in the oven instead of stovetop so you don’t need to worry about anything getting burnt, and don’t have to constantly stir.

This wonderful one-pot chicken with almond recipe is guaranteed to please your family. If you are looking for an easy oven-made meal try this recipe. The best part about this dish is that it tastes creamy and delicious without using any cream. Ground almonds gives this dish a wonderful flavor and texture.

I like to serve this dish over rice but you could use bread, pasta, polenta, or some crusty bread.

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 3 lbs. or 6 pieces of bone in, skin on chicken thigh, excess fat and skin trimmed
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Sauce

  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered or sliced almond
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, small diced
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Sliced almonds or slivered almonds for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)
  • Thinly sliced green onion (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle thyme, oregano, paprika, salt, pepper, and oil over the chicken pieces. Rub well to coat both sides of the chicken and set aside for 30 minutes.

Next, place flour in a large shallow bowl and coat the chicken pieces with flour, then shake off the excess.

Place canned tomatoes, almonds, and half cup of water in a small blender. Blend the mixture until smoothly pureed and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a large heavy bottom sauce pan. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken pieces skin side down first over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until both sides of the chicken are golden brown. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan to a large plate and set aside.

Add onions to the remining fat on the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add garlic and salt, then cook for another minute or so. Adjust the heat if you need to.

Next, add the tomato mixture to the pan. Stir well to blend everything together. Add chicken pieces and the accumulated juices to the sauce. Stir gently and cook for a minute or two.

Next, cover the pan with lid or foil and transfer it to preheated oven and cook for 40-45 minutes until chicken pieces are cooked through and tender. Sprinkle toasted sliced almonds, chopped cilantro, and thinly sliced green onion before serving.

You can serve this over rice, grilled (or sautéed) vegetables, or over creamy polenta!

Serves 6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!

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