- 16 January 2017 < Back to gossip

Crunchy buttermilk chicken with roasted ratatouille

This is like a healthy version of chicken nuggets and is hugely popular with kids of all ages. Those packs of mini fillets you get in the supermarket are perfect, as you don’t have to bash them flat or cut them up. Marinating the chicken in buttermilk makes it lovely and tender and you also get a deliciously creamy layer between the meat and the crumbs. Best with good crispy crumbs – see my tip below.

Serves 4

  • 381 calories per serving
  • 400g chicken mini fillets
  • 1 x 284ml carton of buttermilk
  • 75g wholemeal or sourdough breadcrumbs
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or spray oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
  • salt and black pepper

Roasted ratatouille

  • 200g baby courgettes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 aubergine, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 branch of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 branches of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

Time check

  • Prep: 20 minutes, plus marinating time
  • Cooking: 20 minutes

1. Preheat your grill to high and the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. For the ratatouille, put the courgettes, onion and aubergine pieces in a large shallow roasting tray, spreading them out into a single layer. Add the rosemary and oil and season with salt and pepper, then grill the vegetables for 10 minutes.

2. Place the chicken in a large shallow bowl and pour over the buttermilk. Cover the bowl and leave the chicken to marinate for at least 10 minutes – you can also leave it in the fridge overnight if you’ve planned ahead.

3. Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, rosemary and grated Parmesan and season well.

4. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shake off any excess and then coat each piece in the crumb mixture. Put the coated chicken on a lightly oiled baking tray, then drizzle or spray the pieces with a little oil.

5. Remove the tray of vegetables from the grill, leaving the grill on, and add the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with balsamic, if using, transfer the tray to the hot oven and roast the vegetables for 10 minutes.

6. Grill the chicken for 15–20 minutes until golden on both sides and cooked through, turning the pieces half way through.

7. Divide the chicken between 4 plates and serve with a large green salad and lemon wedges to squeeze over.

A little tip...

Nice crisp breadcrumbs make the best coating so if you’ve time, toast them in the oven first. Spread the breadcrumbs on a shallow baking tray and bake them for 5–6 minutes in the oven at 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4 or until dry but not golden.

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