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Grana PadanoThis 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

Serves 4.
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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