Mother in law’s speciality dish…
Growing up in a Hindu household, I had never eaten meat. Even after moving to Australia I continued being a vegetarian – this was about to change. The first time I met my mother in law (my husband and I were newly dating), she had invited me for dinner and surprisingly my husband forgot to tell her I was then a pure vegetarian Anyway, I arrived at their house and as always was so hungry, I could hardly wait for dinner. When we get to the dinner table my mother in law said ‘I have made one of my specialities’, I couldn’t wait to find out what it was. Turns out it was Chicken Schnitzel with mash and roast veggies! That day I couldn’t I tell her I was a vegetarian, it would just be so rude and clearly I could forget about making an impression.
So that day was the first time I ate chicken and now the only time I will eat it is if my mother in law makes her schnitzels. Given its one of my husbands favourite meals, I have learnt how to make this from my mother in law.
It is such a quick meal to make during the week, especially when you are longing for home cooked comfort food and missing your mother. Everyone has their own take on Schnitzels, I like to use free range chicken tenderloins, they are so lean and there is no fuss about trimming the fat or cutting them evenly. They come ready to use!
Ingredients: 20 Cooking time: 45 minutes
For the schnitzel
- One pack of free range chicken tenderloins (usually has about 12 strips)
- One cup of panko breadcrumbs
- Two eggs, beaten
- One cup of plain flour to dust
- One teaspoon Italian herbs
- One teaspoon chilli flakes
- Salt to season
- Vegetable oil for shallow frying
For the mash potatoes
- Four to five medium sized potatoes, peeled
- Half cup skim milk
- One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to season
For the roast veggies
- One cup cauliflower florets
- Four carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
- One cup brussel sprouts, cut in halves
- One cup squash, cut in cubes
- One teaspoon rosemary leaves
- Four to five pods of smashed garlic
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to season
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Now place all the vegetables in the baking dish, add rosemary leaves and smashed garlic, drizzle with olive oil and toss them well. Roast in oven, turning them once for about 30 – 40 minutes, until lightly crispy and golden. Remember you can use any vegetables available in your fridge, just be mindful of the cooking time.
To make the mash potatoes, cut the potatoes in cubes and boil them in salted water until completely tender. Drain potatoes well and return to the saucepan on low heat. Now roughly mash the potatoes, add milk and olive oil and mash the potatoes once again. Beat them with a wooden spoon until the mash is fluffy.
Lets prepare the schnitzel. Combine breadcrumbs, chilli flakes and Italian herbs in a bowl. Season with salt. Place flour in a bowl and whisk egg and milk together in another shallow bowl.
Coat the chicken tenderloin in flour first, followed by the egg mixture and finally cover with breadcrumbs. Do this for each piece of tenderloin until all are prepped and ready to fry.
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Cook chicken in batches for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
To assemble place the potato mash on a plate first and top it up with the chicken tenderloin strips, add the side of roast vegetables and there you have it an easy, lip smackingly delicious meal.