What to make when you've got a lot of corn chips left over from buying a large bag? They make a delicious chicken schnitzel coating keeping it super crunchy on the outside. You can also bake the schnitzel rather than fry it thanks to a quick tip to keep the chicken moist. This recipe can also be easily made into chicken fingers or strips and is also gluten free!
I have to admit that I can often make logic defying decisions. This was one of them. I love chips and crispy things and find them hard to resist and when the corn chips I bought only came in a huge bag and we still had half a bag left after making a dip, I decided that it would be better to crumb a schnitzel with them rather than eat them straight.
I know right? It would be no healthier and I'd probably be eating more but to my mind that was the best course of action to take. I made these corn chip chicken schnitzels when Nina and Garth came over for dinner, knowing that Garth and Mr NQN tend to be quite hungry.
Because these would be baked and not fried due to my frying aversion I brined the chicken breasts before hand to keep them moist. I also served them with a couple of salads on the side - a tomato, green onion, lime and avocado salsa and a two corn salad dressed with garlic crema. Nina ate halloumi vine leaves while the rest of us ate these and I was super happy to see that Garth and Mr NQN polished theirs off.
There are quite a few similarities between the four of us and whenever Nina or I complain about the boys they're often the same complaints. It got to the point where Nina said, "Surely this must happen to everyone, we can't be the only ones?".
I was telling her about how we were cleaning up after Christmas and the holidays and I just wanted some help. Mr NQN tends to retreat to the couch when clean up happens leaving me annoyed. "Can you put the dishes away?" I asked him about four times over the space of a week. It's not that I can't put them away but these dishes go high up and I need to get a step ladder whereas he can just reach up high and put them away. Also it's really nice just to get help with household work.
He usually needs to hear a request four times before actioning it. With a dramatic sigh he got up. "Okay but I'll need help," he said and I wondered what help he would need. I do this on a step ladder without any help. "Hold these," he said passing me the plates to pass to him. "You know you can't do this without me right?" I said to him. "I do it all the time," I added.
Nina chimed in that Garth wasn't able to put the sheets on the bed without her help - a task that she does by herself routinely. She added that he often cries out to her when looking in the fridge for something, something I'm very familiar with. Which means that we either have men that are long lost twins or that you just need a woman to do the job ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, does that ever happen to you? Have you ever tried using chips on the outside of a schnitzel? Would you have eaten the corn chips straight or found another use for them?
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Corn Chip Chicken Schnitzel
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes brining time)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 schnitzels
- 1/4 cup fine salt
- 1 litre water
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 250g/8.8ozs. corn chips
- 3 tablespoons flour (you can also use cornflour if you want them gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- A little oil for drizzling
Garlic Crema sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream (light)
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
Two Corn Salad
- 3 cobs corn
- 5 baby corn
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
- 4 tablespoons of the above garlic crema
Step 1 - Firstly, brine the chicken breasts - this helps to keep them moist as we will be baking these, not frying them. Dissolve the salt in water (I dissolve it in 1 cup hot water and then add cold water and ice to cool it down completely). Place the chicken breasts in the liquid and brine for 30 minutes.
Step 2 - Preheat oven to 220C/440F and line two baking trays with parchment. Grind up the corn chips in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs. Mix the flour in a shallow dish with the paprika and cumin. In another shallow dish whisk the eggs. Place the corn chip crumbs in a third shallow dish.
Step 3 - Place a chicken breast in a large ziplock bag. Using a pestle or a rolling pin flatten the chicken breasts one by one. You may have to trim off some jagged bits. Then dip the chicken breast into the spiced flour, then the egg and then the corn chips. Place on the lined baking trays and drizzle with a little oil bake for 15 minutes.
Step 4 - While it is cooking make the garlic crema sauce. Just mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, lime zest and juice together and serve with the schnitzels and lemon wedges. I also served it with a tomato, green onion and avocado salsa.
Step 5 - To make the corn salad, grill or boil the corn cobs. Cut the kernels from the husk. Slice the baby corn and toss all of it with the coriander and salt. Drizzle with the garlic crema.