Crispy Cornflake and Couscous Chicken Strips
Last Sunday I made the strips first and then just before lunch decided to add them to the Caesar salad. Another option is to serve them separately with a lovely Rarebit dipping sauce and side salad.
Origin: This dish was inspired by a very casual family dinner we had at Hotel Elch a quaint hotel in the castle quarter of Nuremberg, in Germany
I had always dreamed of visiting Europe in the winter and treating my girls to a real White Christmas. My wish was granted in 2002, and we spent a wonderful week visiting the magical Christmas market in Nuremberg.
The unusual German food was a challenge with two fussy princesses who did not want Sauerkraut or Bratwurst. I have wonderful memories of walking around the market with the sound of the carol singers, the cheerful chatter of excited shoppers and the horse and carts trotting up and down the cobble streets competing in the background for our attention. The smell of mulled wine and roasting chestnuts filled the crisp clear air. Oh gosh, and those big plump strawberries served on a skewer dripping in alternating dark and white chocolate!
We stayed at the family run, whimsical Hotel Elch. The hotel’s restaurant specializes in making just about any form of schnitzel you can imagine – at last something our girls recognized from home! The ‘princesses’ gobbled up their Crispy Cornflake crusted Pork Schnitzels and afterwards ran with glee outside into the freezing cold to play in the first snow fall they had experienced. We sat inside sipping our mulled wine and smiling to the sounds of their squeals of delight as the snowflakes covered the entire town in a dusting of white powder.
My youngest still refers to that as being the best meal she has ever eaten! And so I worked on re-creating it with a bit of zing and interest. Nearly ten years later it is still on our family favorite list.
This recipe is for chicken strips, however we often make it using the whole breast, flattened and serve it as our main meal. The only trick is to get the cooking of the chicken timed perfectly. I always do a test run with one piece. Depending on the size but 3 minutes for small strips is enough. Cut the tester in half and remove it while the meat is still pink in the middle. Let it rest for two or three minutes which will finish off the cooking. If for some reason the tester piece is still slightly pink, put it back in the pan for a few seconds. It should be juicy and succulent inside. I have suggested sunflower oil and if you click here you will a good example of shallow frying a pork steak, and the comments show how passionate some cooks are if you use terminology and cooking methods that are not per the ‘origin’!
Serve as a main meal with Rarebit sauce and Caesar salad with soft boiled eggs, or add the strips to a Caesar salad as a lovely lunch option.
Crispy Cornflake and Couscous Chicken Strips:
Serves 6 – 8
6-8 chicken breast fillets each cut into 4 pieces
500ml natural yoghurt
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup cake flour
Sunflower oil to shallow fry.
2 cups plain cornflakes or Special K cereal
1 cup of couscous
½ cup raw sesame seeds
½ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Finely grated rind of two lemons
1 teaspoon of ‘Egyptian Dukka’ or 1 teaspoon Chicken spice
- Cut each breast in half and those halves into two strips. Flatten with a mallet slightly so that the pieces are the same thickness. Marinade overnight in yoghurt, or if time does not allow, for at least 3 -4 hours.
- To make the crumbs, toss all the ingredients into a food processor, and blend well.
- To prepare the chicken, scrape off the excess yoghurt and discard. Dip into the flour, then into the egg mixture and lastly into the crumbs. Press down into the crumbs to ensure good coverage.
- Heat about 1 – 2cm of oil in a frying pan and gently fry the chicken pieces until just cooked and golden. Drain on absorbent paper and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.