Chicken Schnitzel with Mash Potatoes and Roast Veggies

Mother in law’s speciality dish…

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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

Serves: 2

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.

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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.

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Chicken Roulade with Cauliflower Mash

Healthy eating begins today…

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I wonder how many of us made new years resolutions around healthy eating! Healthy eating is a way of life most of us aspire to but only a few of us sustain it. One of the problems is the ability to make flavoursome tasty food that is equally healthy, after all there is only so much steamed broccoli one can eat.

One meat that is really versatile, incredibly healthy and nutritious is…CHICKEN!  You can bake it, steam it, poach it,  roast it, cook it in a curry or toss it in a stir fry and the mighty bird keeps on giving! High in protein, chicken is definitely the food of choice for all the healthy eaters in the carnivore world.

Today’s chicken roulade recipe is packed with so much flavour that you won’t for a second feel like you are missing out on those indulgent, sinful meals. The humble potato mash is replaced with a healthy and flavourful cauliflower mash, with only quarter of the calories and tonnes of flavour this mash recipe is a keeper!

Ingredients:  8    Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

For the chicken roulade

  • Two skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • One cup of chopped spinach (I used frozen spinach)
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • Two tablespoons roasted pine nuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

For the cauliflower mash

  • 1/2 a cauliflower 
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius 

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The first step is to prepare the chicken breasts. The best way is to wrap it in a plastic wrap (covering the chicken fully) and use the flat side of the mallet and flatten the meat using outward strokes from the centre of the breast to the edges.

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Once the chicken is flattened season it with a bit of salt on both sides and keep aside. 

Time to prepare the stuffing – in a pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the minced garlic followed by spinach. I used chopped frozen spinach for its sheer convenience, you can use fresh spinach too. Cook the spinach until soft and then add the crumbled ricotta cheese and take the pan off the heat.

Add toasted pine nuts to the spinach and ricotta mix and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

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Depending on the size of your chicken breast take the filling and lay it horizontally across the flattened meat. Don’t stuff the chicken excessively as it may burst open while cooking. Now carefully roll the chicken breast and tie it up with a kitchen string.

In another pan add half a tablespoon of olive oil and sear the chicken on both sides until lightly browned.

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Then place the chicken in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

While the chicken is baking lets make the cauliflower mash. Break up the florets of the cauliflower and wash them well.

Boil the cauliflower florets for about 15 – 20 minutes until fully tender. Drain the cauliflower (don’t discard the water, you can use it as cooking stock) and mash it up, add one tablespoon of olive oil to give it that glossy look and delicious flavour. Season with salt as required, your cauliflower mash is ready to serve.

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By this stage the chicken will be cooked, remove it from the pan and let it rest for about five minutes. The delicious flavours in the pan can be converted into a jus to drizzle over the chicken. Add 1/4 cup of water and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Now add 1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves and let the liquid simmer for five minutes on high heat.

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To serve place the cauliflower mash on a plate, cut the chicken in circles and place them on top of the mash. Finally drizzle the chicken and mash with the jus and there you have it a lip smackingly delicious healthy meal for you and your family. ENJOY!

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