Michigan Style Almond Boneless Chicken

Almond chicken

Growing up in Michigan I always thought that one of my favorite Chinese food dishes, Almond Boneless Chicken was a Chinese take-out staple. Nope. I moved to Orlando 20 years ago and searched in vain for this awesome dish. I always ended up finding chicken and vegetables with almonds mixed in. Not what I had in mind. Then on a visit up my dad says he was making it. I was so happy. He got the base of this recipe from a Test Kitchen. He modified it suit his tastes and it turned out wonderful.

Thanks to this article I learned that Almond Boneless Chicken is Cantonese Style! In Michigan we call it ABC for short and it’s a yummy endulgent fried breast of chicken served over lettuce and sometimes rice and covered in gravy. Ingredients for gravy include low-sodium options as the usual versions make the gravy way too salt forward.  This recipe serves 3-4 people. Enjoy!



  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken flavor
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules


  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons Water

Remaining Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 3 cups of Jasmine rice
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds (toasting is optional)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped (both green and white parts)
  • Oil for frying chicken, as needed


  1. Toast slivered almonds in a dry pan over medium heat until they are golden.
  2. If preparing rice in a rice cooker add equal amounts of Jasmine Rice and water to your cooker and start the machine. It should cook for about 20 minutes and rest for 10. You can also make rice on the stove top. I recommend against Minute Rice as it doesn’t have the texture to compliment the dish .
  3. Sprinkle chicken with salt and sherry and marinate on a plate for 15 minutes.
  4. While chicken is marinating, prepare the gravy.  Mix together the cornstarch and water in a small saucepan until smooth.  Gradually mix in the chicken broth, butter, soy sauce, Better Than Bouillon, and bouillon granules.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Let boil for 1 minute, then turn down the heat to very low and keep warm.
  5. Pat dry chicken with paper towels, then drop them into a plastic bag with a small amount of flour.  Coat chicken, then shake off excess flour and place floured chicken on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.  A hard flour glue will harden on the chicken (it later helps the batter stick).
  6. Heat large skillet and add oil to a depth of 1/2-inch.  Heat on medium-high to 375 degrees.
  7. To prepare batter, beat together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, egg, and enough water that the batter is smooth and looks like pancake batter. Coat each piece of chicken with the batter individually and drop them gently in the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan with too many pieces at once.
  8. Be careful as some pans require a lower heat setting. Check the oil temperature with a thermometer to be sure.  Drop chicken into batter and cook coated chicken pieces in oil until they are golden, turning them once.  This should take about 5 – 7 minutes.  Drain the chicken on paper towels. If making a double batch you can keep the chicken warm in a 200 degree oven.
  9. Cut the chicken diagonally into strips.  Reassemble the strips into chicken breast shapes and place on a bed of lettuce covered with rice.  Spoon the gravy over the chicken. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and green onion and serve immediately.

49 Replies to “Michigan Style Almond Boneless Chicken”

  1. My family loved this! They thought it was better than our favorite local Chinese restaurant! I didn’t have dry sherry but substituted chardonnay. This will be in our regular rotation now. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I’m from MI too, and lived in FL since 1996. Almond Chicken is one of the things I miss most, so I’m going to try this recipe! Couple questions: 1) other recipes call for mushrooms in the gravy. I hate mushrooms, so I’m glad your recipe omits them. Just wondering whether there’s a reason why all the other recipes include them? And 2) is there a specific oil that works best for frying these? I’ve seen recipes that mention corn or canola oil.

    1. I’ve been in Florida since 1997. The ABC I have had doesn’t have mushrooms. I use corn oil for frying. I hope it turns out great!

  3. This recipe was delicious. I used a white wine instead of sherry. I also couldn’t find any Bouillon granules locally, so used an extra TBSP of the paste instead. Also regular soy sauce. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe. It did come out a bit more salty than I would like, so will address that next time. Otherwise, again, delicious, and it satisfied my craving. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for this! I’ve been searching for 21 years since I’ve live in California. I grew up in WA state eating this. We used chicken broth instead of sherry and couldn’t taste a difference. It was so amazing!

  5. I’m so excited to try this. I LOVE almond chicken, but since we discovered my kids and I have Celiac Disease, we haven’t had any. It’s been a year now, and I totally miss it!!

  6. This recipe was perfect , simple to prepare and tasted delicious.
    I lived in Detroit as a child and dined at a Chinese restaurant in St. Clair Shores.
    I will definitely make this again. I wish I could send you a photo of
    the meal.
    Lillie Berak

  7. I sent the recipe to my sister in law in Florida.
    She sent me a photo of the Almond Chicken she made for dinner
    this evening.
    It looked like it was from a fine dining restaurant and she said
    it was delicious. My brother loved it.,

    Thank you, Vikki

    Lillie Berak

    1. Oh Lillian, that’s wonderful! I’m headed to Michigan for Christmas and mom insisted we make it. When you make it you can adjust to your tastes.

  8. I’m from Louisiana, and I believe down here it’s called “Mandarin Chicken.” I was searching the entire interweb for a recipe for it, and what you have here looks and sounds identical except for the fact that we garnish with peanuts rather than almonds. When I conducted my initial search, all I could find was recipes for mandarin orange type (sweet) recipes. Thanks so much for posting this! 😊

  9. Our Michigan Chinese restaurant – Ingcredible! includes vegetables in their gravy – sliced carrots, celery, baby corn on the cob, not too much though. And it’s served over mung bean sprouts! I think your recipe will help me re-create our local version! Thanks!

  10. I’ve been in Orlando and this is wonder I’m going to make this one day this week!! My mom normally over night me food from my favorite Chinese place. Now maybe she won’t have to any more

  11. FINALLY…i have lived in Saratoga County, NY for 23 years..i grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where Almond Chicken was always a favorite. So bummed when I moved here, that they were clueless as to what it even is..i am an experienced cook, and over the years have tried several recipes, only to be let down over and over, i gave up even trying, knowing i would only enjoy it on visits back home. Until today. Delicious…FINALLY..the flavor is perfect. Thank you for making so many of us happy. I will now be able to enjoy this every so often, in my own home..

  12. I grew up in NW Ohio, about 2 hours from Detroit and for over 40 years I ate this on a regular basis from a local restaurant. When the couple who ran it retired and sold it, they left the recipe but the new owners don’t use it. SHAME! Making this at home is my only choice now. Thanks for the recipe!!

  13. v1kk1
    I am looking for egg roll recipe. I love the almond chicken 🐔. I am looking for a great vegetable egg roll recipe bean sprouts , carrots 🥕 ,etc… I do plan to to add a meat to it chicken, pork, shrimp etc…I have wonderful partner and I love making her happy

    1. I love a good egg roll. Currently trying to master Vietnamese summer rolls. I’ve got the ingredients right but my wrapping skills could use some work. 🙂

  14. Thank you so much! I grew to in a Garden City Michigan. I have searched for a recipe for almond chicken like they served in a restaurant by the bridge in Detroit. This is very close!

    1. Most people have a local version they love. One guy asked where the mushrooms were, and I’m like mushrooms?? I’m in Detroit right now and ordered from a place near DTW. Their chicken was perfectly fried but the gravy lacked flavor. I think this is one of those things you tweak until it’s how you like it.

  15. I’m in Houston, TX and decades ago there was a dish called Pressed Chicken or Press Chicken, depending on the Chinese restaurant. Now, you just can’t find it! It’s just like this, if memory serves me. It had all the things you listed, but also bean sprouts on top. Looks great, can’t wait to try your recipe!

  16. My family and I love this recipe. My husband often asks what he did right whenever I put this on our weekly menu. We currently live in the Flint area and our local Chinese places don’t really have an almond boneless chicken recipe that really compares to what we find in Detroit.

    1. Christina- I live in Florida now but lived before in Flint, the Chinese restaurant across the street from the Genesee Valley mall had great Almond Chicken as I recall

      1. Yes Karl! I have had the Boneless Almond Chicken at that same restaurant. My sister lives in Caro and when I visit from Texas I fly into Flint. I have missed this treat so much! I’m making it tomorrow for dinner for the 1st time! I was reading all the comments to get any good ideas so I’d be ready to do it justice tomorrow! It’s a small world!

  17. Does anyone know what sorts of substitutions could be made to make this fit the heart healthy diet? (Other than reducing sodium)?????

        1. I have one Vikki but it doesn’t come out of the cabinet much!
          Well, I’m making this wonderful recipe tonight! I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I’ll be sure to let you know.

  18. What sorts is substitution can I make to make this heart healthy for an elderly adult on that type of diet? Ari fryer? How long/temperature? Etc. Thank you!

    1. You could use a baked chicken breast instead of batter fried. Also low sodium soy sauce and heart healthy margarine rather than butter.

  19. Well I made this wonderful recipe for 9 people this evening! Putting it all together is not for sissies! But it was so worth it! I have missed this dish so much since leaving Michigan. Thank You Vikki for a recipe I will make over and over again!

  20. I would love to make this but can’t find the bouillon I only have base and granules what measurements should I use? Is the base the same?

  21. Thank you so much! I never even knew my fav. Almond chicken was Detroit style. I grew up going to the best hole in the wall spot and have been trying to replicate their chicken for over a decade since they closed!

  22. I moved to Boca Raton, from oak park and Southfield. I loved the ABC from Wing Hongs. THE BEST! I have not been successful down here. I didn’t realize that I’m a boneless was from Michigan. Thanks so much for the recipe. I’ve got to give it a try. Have a great day.

  23. Thank you, thank you!! Growing up in Detroit, we did not realize how spoiled we were with so many good Chinese, Lebanese & coney restaurants until we moved to SE Florida! I made this with my sister tonight & it was amazing!!!! Thank you again!

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