This is definitely a kid pleasing family dinner. Crumbed chicken breast with a little tomato sauce, potato mash and steamed greens (broccoli to be precise – it is so popular around here that there have been times when the girls have complained when someone else gets a bigger serve of broccoli than them). I guess this is my version of a chicken nugget – just one very big one. And one that has already been dunked in sauce.
What I don’t like about this dinner is that you have to make it right before dinner which might suit most people but I find everything just a little too chaotic at that hour with four kids. Nevertheless it is worth it, I just need to be organised. The tomato sauce can be made in advance but right before dinner I get the water on to boil for the potatoes and get them going. Then I blitz up some bread for the breadcrumbs and tip into a deep plate. In another plate I put in the seasoned flour and in the final plate I whisk the eggs. Best here if you can enlist some helpers and get started on a bit of a production line.
Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally and, if need be, even out with a mallet. One kid can dunk the chicken in flour, the next kid can dunk the floured chicken in the egg and another kid can coat the chicken in the breadcrumbs. When that is all done then I will attend to mashing the potatoes because you will want to eat the finished chicken as soon as it is cooked.
It sounds labour intensive but once you have made it once or twice you can do it without thinking and you will have a meal on the table that is wholesome and delcious that kids will eat.
The quanties below are just what we make which only allows us 1/2 a chicken breast each and we always have leftover tomato sauce that I will save to put on our Friday night pizzas. You may only need to adjust the amount of chicken if you need to make more.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
3 – 4 chicken breasts sliced in half horizontally
3/4 cup plain flour
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of sea salt and stir regularly until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Tip in the tomatoes and bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then. It will be lovely and thick. Season to taste.
Put the flour in a deep plate and season with salt and pepper. In another deep plate whisk the 2 eggs together. Put the breadcrumbs in another deep plate. Dunk each chicken piece into the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a large frypan over a medium heat. Cook 3 or 4 pieces at a time for a few minutes each side. Place on a large baking tray. Cook the remaining chicken in a little extra vegetable oil and place on the tray too. Dollop a spoonful of tomato sauce on each chicken piece and grate over just a little parmesan. Pop baking tray under the grill for just a minute – just enough to get the cheese to melt. Serve straight away.