Marinated chicken with zucchini
Photo by Tam West
This is a variation on a recipe by the great Italian cook, food writer and teacher Marcella Hazan. I have also made it with fish rather than chicken and swapped the celery out for pine nuts and raisins. This dish is marinated overnight in the fridge and then served at room temperature and makes for an interesting starter or the perfect lunch dish.
|4||Chicken breasts, small, skinned|
|3 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1||Onion, finely sliced|
|3 cloves||Garlic, crushed|
|1||Celery stalk, use up to 2, very finely sliced|
|4 small||Sage leaves|
|¾ cup||White wine vinegar, chardonnay vinegar is good here|
|4 small||Zucchini, trimmed|
|1 splash||Oil, for shallow frying|
|1 cup||White breadcrumbs, home made are best|
- Place the chicken breasts on a chopping board. Using a large sharp knife, cut through each breast horizontally and open out (as if you were reading abook). Cover the opened-out chicken with baking paper or plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, end of a rolling pin or the base of a small heavy saucepan, pound the chicken thinner (about 5mm). The thicker end of the breast will need a little more pounding than the thinner end for even thickness.
- Break the egg into a large shallow dish, add a good pinch of salt and beat with a fork. Beat in the milk then drop in the chicken. Cover and set aside.
- To make the marinade, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, sage leaves and pour in the vinegar. Let it bubble away for about 1 minute, then add the water. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook gently for about 10 minutes until well reduced, then remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile heat a chargrill over high heat. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into about 5mm slices. Place on the hot grill and cook on both sides until dark grill lines appear. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to cover the base. Heat until the oil is medium-hot.
- Place the breadcrumbs on a flat plate. Drain each chicken breast from the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off then place chicken in the crumbs. Pat both sides with the crumbs to ensure the chicken is evenly and securely coated.
- Place in the hot oil and cook on both sides until you have a golden brown crust, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to some crumpled kitchen paper to drain and sprinkle with a little salt. Cook chicken in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding the pan.
- Choose a deep dish — cover the base with a single layer of chicken, then half of the zucchini. Top with half of the onion and celery marinade. Repeat finishing with the marinade.
- Once completely cold, cover and place in the fridge overnight. Return to room temperature before serving with a green salad.
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