Wheat Escalopes with Hazelnut Mash and Pink Pickled Onions

Nadiya Hussain's ingenious take on classic chicken escalopes uses wheat biscuit breakfast cereal to create an extra-crunchy topping. Enjoy with creamy mash for an easy family meal.

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Introduction

Chicken breast is a staple in our house, especially for feeding the kids. It’s quick and easy and, most importantly, versatile. I never seem to have breadcrumbs when I need them, but what I always have plenty of is wheat biscuit breakfast cereal, and that’s how these escalopes were born. They’re rather like big homemade chicken nuggets, served with hazelnut mashed potato and pink pickled red onions.

Serves 4
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 1 h
Total time: 1 h 25 min

Ingredients

For the hazelnut mash:
1kg floury potatoes such as Maris Pipers, peeled and quartered
100g butter
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp full-fat mayonnaise
100g chopped roasted hazelnuts
For the quick pickled onions:
300ml apple cider vinegar
2 red onions, sliced
For the escalopes:
4 chicken breasts
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
4 wheat cereal biscuits, crushed
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

Instructions

Pop the prepared potatoes into a large saucepan of cold water, then place on a high heat and cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Get the pickle going by putting the vinegar into a pan with the onions. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and leave to simmer until the onions are soft. This can take about 30 minutes. Open a window, as the smell can get potent!

While the potatoes boil and the onions pickle, get started on the chicken breasts. Butterfly them by cutting across the breast horizontally, but not cutting all the way through, and opening the breast up. Use the back of your hand to flatten it as much as possible. Once you have done that to all 4 breasts, sprinkle them with the salt and cayenne pepper, making sure to pat it in everywhere.

Have 2 plates ready, one with the eggs and the other with the crushed wheat biscuits. Dip each breast first into the egg and then into the crushed wheat biscuits. Set aside on a plate.

By now the potatoes should be done. Drain them, then pop them back into the pan and mash them using a potato masher or a ricer. Add the butter, salt and mayonnaise and mix, then stir in the roasted hazelnuts.

Back to the chicken. Get a large non-stick frying pan and place it on a medium heat. If you have a pan large enough, you may be able to cook 2 at a time, which is how I do it, using my largest frying pan.

Add the oil and butter to the pan. When the butter has melted, add 2 of the escalopes and fry for 4–6 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pan, then fry the other 2 escalopes.

Drain off the vinegar from the onions and rinse them with warm water. Serve the hot chicken with the mash and the pickled red onions.

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