Parmesan Breadcrumb Chicken with Creamy Lemon Orecchiette Serves 4
They can be used straight from the freezer over lasagne or for a crispy topping for any vegetable bake. I usually flavour them up with herbs, grated cheese and even spices such as paprika.
For the filling
4 tbsp ricotta
10 baby spinach leaves, shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 supremes of chicken
For the topping for the chicken
6 heaped tbsp. brown or white breadcrumbs
2 very finely chopped garlic cloves
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
4 tsp mixed fresh herbs such as chives, rosemary and dill
¼ tsp paprika
4 tbsp. grated parmesan
Freshly grated black pepper
For the sauce
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
½ leek, finely sliced
1 finely chopped garlic clove
100ml crème fraiche
100ml vegetable stock
1 lemon, zest only
4 tbsp. grated parmesan
300g orecchiette or pasta of choice e.g. penne, farfalle, spaghetti
Sprig of dill, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line a roasting tray with parchment. Combine the ricotta and spinach with a little salt and pepper. Slice a “pocket” into the breast of the chicken and spoon in the stuffing.
Combine all the ingredients for the topping and mix well.
Move the supreme of chicken onto the roasting tray and generously sprinkle over the seasoned breadcrumbs, carefully patting down and drizzle over some rapeseed oil.
Roast for about 25 minutes depending on the size of the supreme of chicken. Check that the chicken is cooked, the juices should run clear.
In the meantime, cook the orecchiette or pasta of your choice according to the packet’s instructions. Drain and keep warm.
To make the sauce, heat a medium saucepan with oil, add the leeks and sauté until softened but not brown. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the crème fraiche, vegetable stock and cream and simmer for 1 minute.
Add the lemon zest and grated parmesan. Check the seasoning adding more parmesan to taste.
Combine the pasta with the sauce and serve with the chicken. Garnish with sprigs of dill and serve immediately.
Tip: if you prefer to fully coat the chicken in breadcrumbs, then flour the chicken, dip in beaten egg to milk and then into breadcrumbs. This method works very well for frying of deep frying the breaded chicken.
I would like to share some tips that I prepared for the Southern Region Waste Management Office as part of the wonderful prevent food waste campaign
you can Follow on Twitter @preventwaste
And use the hashtag #Do1morething
My TIPS for using up your not so fresh bread…
- I process all stale or leftover bread into breadcrumbs, spoon them into a sealed bag and freeze – it’s the easiest and simplest trick of all!
- Herby Crumbs – again this may seem obvious but why not add herbs to your breadcrumbs before you freeze them. Simply choose your herb seasoning, I like Italian, and a sprinkle of sea-salt and you have the perfect crunchy topping for your next lasagne or pasta bake.
- French Toast, in fact it is recommended to use bread that is a few days old for best results. It’s original name “pain perdu” means lost bread! Whisk together egg and milk and sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and dip the bread in to soak up the mixture before frying in pan with a little butter till golden on both sides. Serve with fruit for a perfect after-school snack or weekend brunch.
- Summer Pudding – a traditional summer pudding can be made all year round. Just line your pudding bowl with stale bread fill with fruit cover the top with a last slice of bread and cling-film overnight in the fridge. Serve with crème fraiche. This could be a light alternative to Christmas pudding too!
- Add breadcrumbs to meatballs and home-made burgers and for a softer lighter texture soak your breadcrumbs in milk first for the best results.
- French onion soup or indeed most soups benefit from a delicious crispy crouton topping. They can be any size and there’s no doubt home-made croutons taste so much better than the shop bought alternative. Simply bake in oven with a drizzle of olive oil, for garlic croutons finely grate garlic into the oil before drizzling, you can also add herbs and even a little parmesan for extra flavour. Croutons can be kept in air tight container for a few days before using
- To use up stale Brown Bread why not try a Brown Bread Ice Cream for something a little different.
- For a through back to the 80s try making Melba Toast, a thin dry toast which makes a delicious base for canapes. Again stale bread is recommended for this, simply dry out in oven and your toasts can be kept in air tight container for up to a week before using. Divine with hummus, pate or simply spread with cream cheese.
- An all-time favourite growing up was Bread and Butter pudding another great way to use up stale bread. This is delicious at Christmas with Cranberries and mixed spice for a seasonal twist.
- And finally I leave you with something Italian which I feature in my first cookbook, Panzanella, an Italian Bread Salad where the bread and good quality ripe tomatoes are the star ingredients. You can also use whatever veg is left in the fridge from peppers to red onion and cucumber. The more colour the better drizzle in light vinaigrette and let sit for at about 30 minutes to let flavours infuse. Great for using up the end of sourdough or other artisan bread.