Britain’s love affair with chicken seems to be a lasting one. Since the end of post-war rationing, Britain experienced a steady increase in consumption of poultry. Nowadays chicken meat is more or less a staple, not least due to the popularity of fast food restaurants and their chicken nuggets. Usually combined with French fries, chicken nuggets or goujons, can however make a wonderful pairing with healthy salad. The goujons are easy to cook and just as fast to prepare at home than waiting in line to fetch takeout. Another bonus is that you will know exactly what’s in your food. For best meat quality, opt for organic, free-range meat to ensure best flavour quality and rearing practice.
This home-made version of chicken nuggets boasts with authentic ingredients and full flavours, pairing nutty, umami Parmigiano-Reggiano and fragrant oregano with succulent chicken breast. Serve on a bed of mixed leaf salad and lunch is sorted.
For 2 portions
2 free-range chicken breasts, approx. 145g each, cut into 11-12 pieces
1 medium-sized egg
5 heaped tbsp. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
5 tbsp. bread crumbs
2 tbsp. flour
1heaped tsp. oregano
1 clove of garlic
Salt, pepper and dried chili flakes to taste
Vegetable or olive oil for frying
Mixed leaf salad and cucumber to serve (Dressing: Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper)
What you’ll need:
Chopping board, ideally glass for handling the raw meat
Large kitchen knife
3 deep plates/ bowls
1 regular plate
Frying pan (with lid)
Kitchen tongs or spatula
Kitchen roll (for drying off excess oil)
Baking tray, lined with non-stick baking paper
Small bowl (for salad dressing)
- Prepare the deep plates for battering the chicken strips. The first bowl contains flour. For the second bowl, crack an egg and use a fork to beat it. For the third bowl, mix breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, oregano, garlic, a pinch of salt and dried chili flakes as well as a dash of black pepper. Place a piece of kitchen roll on a plate which will dry off the excess oil from the chicken goujons after frying.
- Chop the chicken breast into 11-12 equally sized pieces.
- Note: Be careful when handling raw chicken. Do not wash the chicken breasts and keep them separate from cooked foods. Use separate kitchen utensils for raw poultry. When cleaning your kitchen utensils and work surfaces after handling raw meat, especially chicken, make sure to be as thorough as possible. Use antibacterial cleaner for all work surfaces and kitchen utensils to avoid any contamination (and cross-contamination) with salmonella or any other pathogens.
- Take each of the chicken strips with a pair of kitchen tongs and dip them first into the flour and then the beaten egg before rolling them in the breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture. Make sure that every bit of the chicken piece is covered.
- Heat up vegetable oil (or any other oil suitable for frying) in a frying pan (the pan should be covered in 1-1.5cm of oil). Fry the pieces until golden brown and use the tongs to turn them over.
- Note: The frying process may create some smoke and strong cooking smells, so make sure to cover the pan with a lid and have adequate ventilation systems in place, such as a range hood or an open window. The smell of frying oil can also penetrate clothes, so make sure to keep away any delicates from the kitchen during the cooking process.
- After frying, place the chicken goujons on a plate and dab off excess oil with kitchen roll.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/ Gas mark 5. Place the chicken pieces on a baking tray and cook for a further 10 minutes in the oven. The chicken is cooked thoroughly as soon as it does not appear translucent and of a slightly pinkish colour anymore.
- Prepare a handful of mixed salad leaves per portion and mix 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp. water, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, ½ tsp. Dijon mustard and a dash of salt and pepper for the dressing. Divide the chicken goujons into two portions and add to the salad leaves. Drizzle with dressing and some more olive oil. Add a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano and garnish with cucumber slices.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)