- 1 stick butter, divided
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup thin spaghetti, broken into small pieces about 1 inch long
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 4 tilapia filets or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thick
- Salt and pepper
- Old Bay seasoning, for fish or poultry seasoning, for chicken
- Flour, for dusting fish or chicken
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a medium size pot. Toast the spaghetti bits until golden. Add the rice and stir, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 16-18 minutes, until tender. Fluff with a fork.
While the rice is cooking, toast the almonds in small pan over medium heat and grind into crumbs in a food processor.
Pat the fish dry and season with a little salt and Old Bay or season the chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.
In shallow dish, mix the breadcrumbs mixed ground nuts, thyme and lemon zest. Dredge the fish or chicken in the flour, then coat in the eggs, followed by the breadcrumb mixture.
In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil, a turn of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the remaining butter and melt into the oil. Add the breaded fish or chicken and cook until brown and crisp, 3 minutes on each side for fish, 4 minutes on each side for chicken. Douse with lemon juice. Serve with the rice pilaf, with some asparagus or green beans alongside.