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Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Sunday, 23 January 2011

RECIPE: Chicken Escalopes A La Milanese

Granted that the classica 'Escaloppa Milanese' is made using veal, but although I adore veal, not everyone else seems to these days and more importantly, chicken is a lot cheaper and more widely available than veal. Most of our veal production in the UK is exported to France and Holland, because there just isn't enough demand for it here, which is a shame because it is delicious.

One of my mother's favourite dishes are delicious Milanese style veal or chicken escalopes with a side of pasta and a juicy wedge of lemon; and who could blame her? It is pretty tasty eating, if you ask me... and it's a real crowd pleaser as the whole family, especially the kids, seem to love it. Here is the very simple recipe for turning a bland chicken breast into something far more exciting. There are no recipe quantities here really, except that you should allow for one breast per person;

Chicken Escalopes A La Milanese

Chicken breasts
Plain flour
Free range eggs (2 per 4 chicken breasts)
Breadcrumbs (I use Japanese 'Panko' breadcrumbs, but any will do)
Maldon Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
Oil for cooking
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
**Sandwich bags or cling film, 2 flat plates, rolling pin and one bowl**

Whilst the process of making this dish is simple, it is a bit fiddly but very fun to make, especially for kids. Generously add plain flour to a flat plate, enough that there is a thick layer coating the surface of the plate. Season this flour very well with lots and lots of Maldon sea salt and some black pepper. Add a generous amount of your breadcrumbs to your other flat plate and crack your eggs into the bowl and whisk well seasoning with some salt also. Then preheat a large frying pan on a medium heat (so that things brown but don't burn).

I like to place my chicken breasts into sandwich bags ready to be flattened... this contains the unhygienic splatter of raw chicken on to your kitchen surfaces. Alternatively you can enrobe your chicken breast loosely in cling film (allowing enough film for the widening of the flattened chicken breast) and then bash the chicken breast until you get a nice flat and evenly thick chicken breast (approx just under a centimetre thick).

Once flattened, dip the chicken into your seasoned flour making sure every inch is coated, but dusting off any excess. Then plunge the chicken breast into beaten egg ensuring all areas are coated, before adding the final coating of breadcrumbs. Dont be afraid to really pack the crumbs into the chicken breast, patting them to ensure the breast is properly coated and then fry it gently in a pan for about 8 minutes each side until nicely golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lemon and your favourite pasta and grate some fresh parmesan on top of the escalope, if desired. HERE is my recipe for a simple and tasty tomato sauce for your pasta or alternatively for those who want a great cheat's tip, I like to use Sacla's Tomato and Chilli 'Intense Paste' which works fantastically stirred into a bit of pasta and you can add olives, vegetables or anything you like to it.

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