I am very excited about today’s post – my first guest post, from my lovely friend Lucy (one of the friends with whom I made these decorated sugar cookies). As this is Lucy’s first blog post, please do share some comment love, even if it is just to say hi. Before handing over, I must add that I got to taste this the evening the pictures used in the recipe below were taken, and it is very good (but then again Lucy’s food is always good!). Now…take it away Lucy…
It is wonderful to be able to be a guest blogger on some some and some! I will attempt to post to the same high standard one normally expects from this page.
This recipe is for a ‘parmo’. If this term means nothing to you then you clearly are not from the North East of England and have yet to experience this delicacy! The ‘parmo’ is a chicken parmesan to give it it’s full title, and consists of breaded chicken covered in a béchamel sauce with cheese on top. Traditionally the chicken would be deep fried and then covered in so much cheese that one quite expects to have a heart attack after consuming it; my version is (slightly) healthier and a lot tastier due to the fact that I oven bake the chicken mainly and use skimmed milk and low fat cheese in the process.
Ingredients for 2 people:
2 chicken breasts
Breadcrumbs (two slices of stale white bread, crusts removed and whizzed in a blender)
Flour to coat the chicken
One egg white
Half a pint of milk (whatever version you prefer, but works perfectly well with skimmed)
One big knob of butter
2 tablespoons (heaped) plain flour
1 bay leaf
Some cloves and peppercorns if you have any lying around
A small block of cheese – mature cheddar works best
1. Put the milk in a pan with the bay leaf, whole peppercorns and cloves and warm until simmering, then turn off and allow to cool in the pan while the herbs infuse. Grate the cheese.
2. Butterfly the chicken breasts with a sharp knife (this means to cut them down the middle, without actually cutting them in half, then opening them up to make the breast half the thickness). Once butterflied give the chicken a bash with a rolling pin to make it evenish in thickness all over.
3. Coat the chicken in the flour, then egg white then breadcrumbs. Shallow fry for approx. 2 minutes on either side until the crumbs are golden brown, then transfer to the oven on a baking tray. The oven should be set to about 180 degrees centigrade (gas mark 4 or 350º F).
4. While the chicken is in the oven, make the béchamel sauce by first melting the butter in a pan. Add the flour and stir quickly over a low heat until it looks like a paste. Add the infused milk (having strained out the peppercorns and bay leaf) little by little, stirring vigorously all the time. If you are having trouble getting rid of the lumps then give it a quick whisk!
5. Once all the milk has been added continue to stir the sauce until it has thickened.
6. Pour the béchamel sauce over the chicken breasts, add the grated cheese on top (as much as you would like, depending on taste) and return to the oven for 20 minutes.