Preparation / Directions:
ADVANCE PREPARATION: Dip each chicken breast in water and then gently flatten with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the breast increases in size by about one-third. Set aside.
Toast the almonds in a 325F oven until light golden, then set aside. Mince the chives and set aside. Combine the garlic and ginger and set aside. In a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients and mix well.
LAST-MINUTE COOKING: Combine the cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. Preheat the oven to warm. Place a small non-corrosive skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon cooking oil and then garlic and ginger. Sauté briefly, then add the sauce. Bring to a low boil and reduce the heat to simmer.
Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with a little salt and pepper. Dust with flour, shaking off any excess. Place a 12-inch skillet over high heat. When hot, add the butter and remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. When the butter bubbles, pan-fry 3 or 4 chicken pieces at a time. Cook for about 1 minute on each side.
The chicken is done when the meat turns color and feels firm to the touch (do not overcook). Transfer the chicken to a heated platter or dinner plates and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining chicken. Bring the sauce back to a low boil and stir in a little of the cornstarch mixture to lightly thicken it.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle the almonds and chives on top.
Serve at once.