One thing about being unemployed is that it gives me an opportunity to put my imagination to use creating meals with whatever is in the kitchen. Our meat of choice for tonight was chicken. Again. So I wanted to do something a bit different than the usual bbq chicken. So hobbling a few things together, I came up with the almond bacon chicken. It used up some bacon that had to be cooked up, a giant leek, some almonds, and a few of the many many whole chilies I have in the freezer. And I didn’t let the skins of the chicken thighs go to waste, as I made cracklins out of them!

I paired it with a salad with a homemade vinaigrette to cut the salty richness.

Note for the all purpose rub, I used my homemade rub.


Almond Bacon Chicken


  • 5 chicken thighs bone in, skin on
  • 6 strips of bacon chopped into pieces
  • 1 giant leek
  • 3 serrano chilies 1 chopped into large chucks, the other 2 sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds lightly roasted

Spice mix of

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose rub
  • 1 tablespoon of Moroccan rub
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano


  • Render the bacon in a pan, remove with a slotted spoon when it has become crisp.
  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and set aside.
  • Cut the leek in half lengthwise and then cut into 1 inch chunks.
  • Sprinkle half the leeks into the bottom of the tajine.
  • Put the single large chopped serrano into the bottom of the tajine, along with the fresh oregano.
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Give the chicken a very liberal coating of the spice rub on both sides and brown in the bacon fat.
  • When you flip the chicken over, add the thinly sliced serranos in a corner of the pan and fry a bit.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and place on the leeks.
  • Sprinkle with the bacon, fried serranos, half of the slivered almonds, the other half of the leek, and minced garlic.
  • Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Add the chicken skin to the bacon fat in the pan and fry until crispy. Sprinkle with salt as soon as you remove it from the pan. Chop into pieces and use as a garnish.
  • Take the remaining almonds, sprinkle with a bit of the spice mix and toss with half a teaspoon of the bacon fat. Use as garnish.
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