Baked Chicken Paillard with Grana Padano Breadcrumbs, Asparagus, Fennel & Radish Coleslaw, Grana Padano Aioli
We invited Alex Mackay - cook, teacher, cookery writer - to share his everyday recipes for brunch, lunch and dinner with hero ingredient, Grana Padano.
A Paillard is a thin piece of meat, usually chicken or veal, and usually pounded flat with a mallet, but to save on all that banging, we’ll just do a clever bit of slicing here. The reason I flatten the fowl for this dinner time dish is to create more space for the tasty topping of Grana Padano, Parsley & Panko. The ‘Coleslaw’ is all about the crunch so you can vary your vegetables; carrot and mangetout would be lovely in there. The aioli (garlic mayo) with Grana Padano is so moreish it should come with an enjoyment warning; I’ve been known to demolish a whole bowlful with a loaf of bread and nothing to do for the rest of the day. It’s hard to make the mayo in smaller quantities than this so you’ll have a little left over. If you don’t want to make your own mayonnaise, use 225g from a jar to mix with the 60g Grana Padano.
Serves 4; Preparation time: 40 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes; Difficulty: Moderate
1. Start with the Grana Padano Aioli. Peel the garlic cloves. Chop them as finely as you can. Mix the chopped garlic with the salt, then, using the blade of a large knife, squash and smear the garlic and salt to a paste between knife and chopping board. Put this paste into a large, round bottomed bowl. Add the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and salt. Whisk together well. Add the vegetable then olive oils, first drip by drip, then in a slow and steady trickle. The slower the better, too fast and the mayonnaise will separate. Continue whisking until you have a thick mayonnaise. If you like it a little more liquid, add a tablespoon of water at the end. Whisk in the Grana Padano.
For the Chicken
2. Get a medium sized bowl. Add the 125g Grana Padano, the panko and the parsley. Mix together.
3. Slice the chicken breasts through the centre lengthways, almost, but not quite, cutting through them completely. Open each breast out so that you have 4 flat, heart shaped, pieces of an even thickness.
4. Get a baking tray, large enough to hold the chicken comfortably. Scatter half of the Grana Padano breadcrumbs over the tray in 4 piles roughly the size of the chicken paillards.
5. For safety, so that you don't contaminate the aioli you will eat later with raw chicken, put 4 tbsp of the aioli into a separate bowl. Put the rest into a serving bowl and put it on your table so you don't mix the two up. Brush 2 tbsp of the separated aioli over one side of the chicken. Turn the aioli coated sides of the chicken onto the Grana Padano breadcrumbs on the tray. Press down so that the mixture sticks. Brush the tops of the paillards with the remaining 2 tbsp of aioli that you separated. Spread each breast with the remaining Grana Padano breadcrumbs.
6. Bake for 12 minutes in your preheated oven. Take the tray out of the oven then heat your grill and grill until golden, keep a careful eye on your chicken at this point as grills vary enormously in heat and breadcrumbs burn quickly.
7. While the chicken bakes, make the coleslaw. Put the lemon zest, lemon juice and the olive oil into a shallow dish. Slice the fennel as finely as you can then toss it with the lemon mixture. Slice the asparagus and radishes as finely as you can, toss them in too. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and just enough sugar to balance the acidity of the lemon juice.
8. Serve the chicken paillards with the coleslaw and Grana Padano Aioli.
Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 6, 200°C.
Rack Position Upper Middle Shelf
Using a fan-assisted oven? Click here