Buttermilk and Almond Crumbed Baked Chicken

, from Issue #53. March, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Buttermilk and Almond Crumbed Baked Chicken

With all the crunchiness of fried chicken but without the drama of deep-frying, these are finger-licking good and best served with large napkins to catch the crumbs.

Serves: 4


700 grams chicken nibbles or small drumsticks
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
½ - 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Almond crumbs
1 cup roasted skin-on almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Yoghurt sauce
1 cup thick plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint


Chicken: Combine the buttermilk with all the remaining ingredients then add the chicken, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Almond crumbs: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until well chopped but not completely smooth.

Preheat the oven to 170˚C.

To cook: Tip the chicken into a large sieve to drain off the marinade. Working with one piece of chicken at a time and holding it over a plate, sprinkle with the almond crumbs until well coated. Place on a lined baking tray and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Bake for 45 minutes, gently turning the chicken every 15 minutes for even browning until cooked through.

Yoghurt sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season.

Serve the chicken hot or warm with the yoghurt sauce. 

Pantry note: Traditional buttermilk is the liquid left over from churning cream into butter. Cultured buttermilk is more readily available in supermarkets and food stores and is made by adding lactic acid cultures to milk. This curdles and thickens it slightly, and gives a pleasant tartness.