Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Breaded Chicken with Toasted Pine Nut & Coriander Risotto

Bizarrely, this recipe came about as a way for me to use up some remaining ingredients in my fridge. Luckily some fresh herbs and a couple of cupboard-must-haves meant I could conjure up something that fitted the mood of a long summer's day, with a bit of sunburn and a rumbling stomach after an active trip to the beach.

Top tip: To toast pine nuts I recommend placing them in a dry frying pan over a low heat and keeping them moving. After only a few seconds they'll start to brown and smell delicious. Remove them from the pan immediately, or they'll burn!

Serves 4


For the breaded chicken:

Chicken breasts - 2
Sliced bread - 2 slices, toasted (I use one white, one brown because that's all I had left!)
Nutmeg (freshly grated or ground) - 1/2 tsp
Garlic Pureé
Zest of one lemon
Chicken Oxo Cube - 1
Ground Black Pepper
Large Egg - 2
Plain Flour - roughly 3 tbsp
Olive Oil - 3 tbsp

For the risotto:

Arborio Risotto Rice - 250g
White Wine (dry) - roughly 150ml
Chicken Stock - 2 stock cubes in 1 litre boiled water
Spring Onions - 8
Garlic - 2 cloves
Pine Nuts - 1 large handful
Fresh Coriander - 3 handfuls
Fresh Parsley - 1 handful
Lemon - juice of 1/2
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp

1. To make the breadcrumb seasoning, firstly toast and break the bread into breadcrumbs using a blender. Mix in the finely grated lemon zest and the ground nutmeg. Crumble in the dry oxo cube, and add freshly ground pepper to taste.

2. Prepare the chicken next. Remove any excess fat, and using a sharp knife slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally.

3. Smother each of the four chicken pieces in garlic pureé, before coating them with flour, ensuring that any excess flour is tapped off.

4. Whisk the eggs lightly, and dip each floured chicken piece into the whisked eggs followed by rolling them evenly in the breadcrumb seasoning. Place the breaded chicken in the fridge whilst you prepare the risotto.

5. Slice the spring onions into chunks no bigger than 1cm in width. Peel the garlic cloves and crush. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and add a handful of the onions and all of the garlic to lightly fry them until soft. Keep the greener ends of the onions for later!

6. Add the risotto rice and continue to lightly fry until the rice becomes transparent at the edges. Remove from the heat and add the white wine, enough to just cover the mixture.

7. Return to a low heat and allow the mixture to simmer and reduce. Gradually add in the chicken stock bit by bit, allowing to reduce in between additions. Whilst cooking the risotto roughly chop the coriander and parsley.

8. Meanwhile toast the pine nuts in a dry pan (see my top tip above!). When the rice is done (this can take 30 minutes or more - keep tasting it to know exactly when) remove from the heat. Add the coriander, parsley, lemon juice, remaining onions and pine nuts to the risotto and stir in.

9. Set the risotto aside and heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow frying pan. Lightly shallow fry each breaded chicken piece over a medium heat, turning them over regularly until cooked through.

Serve the chicken sliced next to or on top of a scoop of risotto. You can drizzle a little of my Lemon & Garlic Dipping Sauce over the chicken to add extra zing. My Asparagus & Parmesan Shavings side dish and a gin & tonic also go well with this!

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