The classic combination of parsley, garlic and butter really makes this dish, but you could use basil instead, and if you like spice, some dried chilli flakes give a delicious kick.
|75g (8oz)||unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|3||garlic cloves, crushed|
|4 tbsp||finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves|
|4||boneless skinless chicken breasts (not previously frozen)|
|75g (3oz)||plain flour, plus extra for mixing, if needed|
|150g (5oz)||fresh breadcrumbs|
|sunflower oil, for frying|
|sea salt and black pepper|
|mashed potatoes and green vegetables, such as broccoli, to serve|
Prep time: 30 minutes plus chilling. Cook time: 18 minutes.
1. In a bowl, beat the butter, garlic and parsley together until evenly combined. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to a sheet of clingfilm and roll into a sausage shape, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, butterfly each chicken breast: place on a chopping board and use a sharp knife to slice into the thicker side; holding the knife parallel to the board, slice across the breast horizontally, taking care not to cut all the way through, until you can open it out like a book. Then place each chicken breast between two sheets of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin until completely flattened, taking care not to tear the chicken or create any holes.
3. Unwrap and divide the frozen butter into four pieces. Place one on each chicken breast, then wrap the flesh around the butter to fully enclose it. If you like, mix a little flour with water to create a paste to help stick the chicken in place. Place the chicken in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
4. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas 6.
5. Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Carefully coat the chicken breasts first in the flour, then in the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs.
6. Fill a large deep pan with oil to a depth of 2cm (¾in) and place over a medium–high heat. Test the oil is hot enough by dropping in a small piece of bread: it should brown in 50 seconds. Place the chicken into the pan, seam side down, and fry for 6 minutes, turning now and again, until it is golden and crisp all over.
7. Put the chicken into a roasting in. Bake for 12 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately, with mash and green veg.