When I was growing up we raised free-range organic chickens, which meant we usually had a good supply of chicken in the freezer. These days you can buy free-range organic chickens and chicken pieces in supermarkets but it’s still not the same as chicken you’ve raised yourself.
From my mom’s cookbook, this is one of my dad’s favourites. I made this tonight for Tim who thought he only needed one piece but then he tasted it.. and soon returned to the kitchen to get another.
Chicken Farmer’s Chicken
Usually entails finding a small chicken 4-6 lbs which is then cut up into pieces. The carcass is kept to make chicken soup or stew. Be wary of any situation that provides you with chicken fingers. “Cut-up” chicken pieces from a supermarket are also suitable.
1. Chicken pieces are washed and dried with paper towel.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix enough wholewheat flour, herbs*, salt, and pepper to coat the chicken pieces – all guess work! (about 1 cup).
3. Coat the chicken by rolling pieces in bowl or sprinkle both sides lightly with coating. Then place these pieces on a rack in a broiler pan (lined with aluminum foil or greaseproof paper to facilitate clean up).
4. Melt some 20/80 or butter to lightly baste or dribble over the pieces (baste once or twice during roasting). Sprinkle with paprika and more herbs and place in oven at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour or until crispy.
Sprinkle with juice of a lemon before serving.
oregano or Greek oregano
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This recipe is from a supplement to my September delicious magazine called Modern Italian. A few of us were curious as to how Grana Padano was different from Parmesan, so my friend Denis made this for us tonight. We decided that although they seem to be quite similar, Grana Padano is milder and sweeter than Parmesan. I don’t always like chicken breasts because I find them too dry, but as the recipe says, they stayed juicy in their cheesy crust.
Pan-fried Chicken in a Grana Padano Crust
Ready in 20 minutes.
Cooking chicken breasts quickly, and in a crust like this, guarantees they stay juicy and succulent. Any leftovers make a great sandwich filling with a bit of garlic mayonnaise.
Pinch of saffron threads
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp plain flour
1 large egg, beaten
4 tbsp olive oil
8 tbsp finely grated Grana Padano
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
Herb mash and lemon wedges, to serve
1. Put the saffron in a bowl, add a tablespoon of boiling water and set aside for a few minutes to infuse.
2. Meanwhile, cut the chicken in half widthways to make 8 thin pieces and dust very lightly with flour.
3. Crack the egg into the bowl of saffron. Add a good grinding of black pepper and beat well.
4. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Mix the cheese and thyme together on a plate. Dip the chicken first in the egg mixture, then coat in the Grana Padano mixture. Fry in 2 batches, adding the remaining oil with the second batch, until crisp, golden and cooked through. It should take about 5 minutes each side, but don’t be tempted to lift of turn the chicken too soon or the crust might stick to the bottom of the pan.
5. Serve 2 chicken pieces each, with herb mash and lemon wedges to squeeze over. Garnish with thyme.
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