Friday, January 29, 2010

The meal of Epicness part 2.

The time has come for me to share with you the main part of The Meal of Epicness.

Home made chicken schnitzel with baked potatoes (loosely based on this recipe by Jill Dupleix) and steamed veges. Unfortunately, not gravy. Sorry, I'm not that fantastic.

SO, I took just under 1kg of chicken breast (always breast, I'm sorry, I just don't do thigh meat) and trimmed all the fat off of it, and then I pounded those bad boys inbetween two pieces of plastic wrap to within in inch of their life. Nice and thin.

Next, I set up a bowl with 1 lightly whisked egg, a splash of milk and some salt and pepper. And a plate sprinkled (very, very generously) with breadcrumbs. Dip the chicken in the egg mix, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Normally I would do this twice for each piece to ensure a nice thick, crunchy coating but unfortunately I was almost out of breadcrumbs so one layer had to suffice. 

This is what they look like when you have dipped and breaded them. See how nice and thin they are?? That's how you want it, you don't want them thick otherwise they take too long to cook and you run the chance of the breading getting burnt. And we don't want burnt schnitzel now, do we!!

Pop them in the fridge for a while, it'll help the breadcrumbs to stick and keep sticking when they're being cooked.

While the schnitzels are in the fridge, take enough potatoes to feed four people. Generally, that would be four potatoes, right?? Wrong. With these potatoes, you need more. You'll always need more, they are just that darn good. I used smallish potatoes, and I used three per person. That's right. THREE. Do it, you won't regret it.

Scrub the potatoes, leave their skins on, then pop them in a pot of boiling water and boil them until you can stick a fork in them know, nice and tender, all that business. I think mine were in there for about 13 minutes.

Drain them, put them on a tray lined with baking paper and proceed to crush them with the aid of a potato masher. Just press ever so gently, and the potato should collapse. You don't want to end up with a pile of mush, so it's important not to overcook them and it's super important not to press too hard with the masher.

Then, brush them with a mixture of butter and olive oil. I don't use measurements, it's just common sense really. Use as much butter and oil as you think you'll need to cover 3 potatoes per person. Easy!! Then sprinkle them with some sea salt and cracked black pepper. Feel free to chuck in some herbs. I would have used some rosemary, but as we all know from Part 1, there was no rosemary. Hmph.

Pop them in a preheated oven (approx 180c) for about 20 minutes. You want them to crisp up nicely.

Now that your potatoes have been in the oven for about 10 minutes, and you have presumeably peeled and cut any other vegies you might want (I did carrot, beans and broccoli) grab that chicken out of the fridge. You want to start cooking it in a pan that has been doused generously with oil, and also start steaming your vegies of choice. I used rice bran oil - I like rice bran oil. It has a higher smoke point than your average oil (254c) so it makes it perfect for frying things!! And it has a nice flavour too unlike canola oil, or sometimes even olive oil - I like olive oil but sometimes it's a bit too rich for me. Apparently it's a healthier choice too, because I'm ALL about the health benefits when I'm frying my food ;)

Pretty much just cook the chicken for 2 - 3 minutes on each side. My chicken was ready a bit before the potatoes, so I just chucked it in the oven to keep warm. It also helped it to crisp up a bit.

Once it's all ready, serve it in a pretty plate, like so:

Mmm those vegies look nice. Nothing like fresh steamed veg. Delicious.

Yummm schnitzel is pretty much the best food in the world.

 Mmm crispy potatoes. The best kind of potato.

Stay tuned for Part 3!!