We've asked the eliminated contestants from MasterChef: Back to Win to share with us the dish that made them fall in love with cooking — because even world-class chefs had to start somewhere. And we've all got plenty of time — and the reality TV inspiration — to put our culinary skills to the test.
Hayden Quinn has offered up his chicken schnitzel recipe. As pubs in some states remain closed, it's definitely got us daydreaming about pre-COVID-19 times. "I want to go to the pub and eat a chicken schnitzel!" Hayden laughs.
"We're all missing that, you know? It's just such a friendly, warm, inviting place — going to the pub, having a beer, being with friends, having a schnitty with heaps of gravy. It really is a luxury that we obviously took for granted for so long and now we don't have that luxury. But hopefully soon we'll be back, eating chicken schnitties and drinking beers in the pub.
"If I have to name a family favourite, it has to be the chicken schnitty!," Hayden continues. "I love it. Super simple, really quick and easy to make for the whole family. This recipe is great because the salad and the preserved lemon mayonnaise adds a real freshness to the dish."
If you do not want to shallow-fry your schnitzel, you can give them a spray with some olive oil spray and bake them in your oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes, turning once until cooked.
As an alternative to lamb’s lettuce, you could use baby spinach or even watercress.
- For the chicken schnitzels:
4 Lilydale Free Range Chicken breasts
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh continental parsley
Extra virgin olive oil, to shallow-fry
- For the herb salad
2 cups lamb’s lettuce
1 cup dill, leaves picked
1 cup fresh continental parsley, leaves picked
1 bunch chives, cut to 2.5cm batons
2 tbsp Cobram Estate Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
- For the preserved lemon mayo
1 cup whole-egg mayo
2 tbsp preserved lemon rind, finely chopped
4 whole pickled gherkins
- Preheat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Use a sharp knife to butterfly each chicken breast. Place chicken between two pieces of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, bash out until 1cm thick.
- Place the flour on a plate. Add the salt and pepper and mix to combine. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl until combined. Combine the breadcrumbs and parsley in another shallow bowl.
- Coat chicken in the flour and shake off any excess. Place in the egg wash, coating evenly. Finally, coat well in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat for remaining chicken breasts.
- Place enough oil in a large frying pan until it comes 1-2cm up the side of the pan. Heat until hot (or 180°C on a cook’s thermometer). Place a chicken breast in the oil, gently laying it away from you so you do not splash hot oil on yourself. Flip the chicken after two minutes or when golden brown. Cook for another one to two minutes or until cooked through and golden. Transfer chicken to a wire rack set over a tray to allow oil to drain, placing the tray inside the oven to keep the chicken warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Meanwhile, combine all herbs in a serving bowl. Place the oil, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and mix until combined.
- To make the lemon mayo, combine the preserved lemon and mayo in a small bowl and mix to combine.
- To serve, arrange schnitzels on serving plates. Dress herb salad with the oil mixture and add to the plates. Add a dollop of preserved lemon mayo and a pickle to each plate. Dig in and enjoy.
- Serves 4
- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Total Time
- 34 minutes, 59 seconds