Food & Drink

Can you "Gourmet" the Chicken Parmo?

Can you Traditionally a Chicken Parmo, short for parmesan, is a flattened piece of chicken breast, breaded then covered with béchamel sauce and parmesan shavings. So far so good, but that's not likely to be what you get 'down the chippy' late of a Saturday night. There are recipes supposedly making 'posh parmos’ but these are often breaded chicken with a variety of gourmet toppings, be it eggs, parma ham or anchovies. So here's a proper posh parmo, bechamel and all. Use mozzarella in your béchamel and lots of fresh parmesan shavings to give it a distinctive flavour.


For the Breaded Chicken

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Egg

100g Plain Flour

125g Bread Crumbs

4 tbsp of vegetable oil

For the Béchamel Sauce

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Plain Flour

280ml Milk

125g Mozzarella 

For the Toppings

100g Parmesan 

40g Milano Salami


(1) Butterfly the chicken breasts and cover with cling film. Find a heavy bottomed frying pan or dish and hit the chicken until it is quite flat. Stress releaf and a good meal all in one.

(2) When the chicken is sufficiently flat, coat it in flour then egg then breadcrumbs so all its edges are covered. 

(3) Heat a frying pan with the vegetable oil and fry the coated chicken for 3-4 minutes on either side. 

(4) In the mean time make the cheese sauce, in a pan melt the butter and mix in the flour until it is a smooth paste. Add the milk gradually, mixing a small amount in at a time to make sure the mixture doesn’t go lumpy. Shred the mozzarella and add to the sauce, continue to stir until it is completely melted. 

(5) Place the fried chicken pieces in a oven-proof dish, scatter the chopped salami on the top and cover with the sauce and top with grated parmesan. 

(6) Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes until the top is crispy and the cheese is completely melted. 

Maybe, just maybe you can.......

Traditional Italian Hunter's Chicken Recipe

Traditional Italian Hunter's Chicken RecipeThe recipe changes from family to family, but the essential ingredients remain the same. It’s a selection of chicken joints cooked in an onion and tomato herb sauce. Serve with tagliatelle, polenta or boiled potatoes.


2 tbsp Olive oil

1 Onion, peeled and chopped

200 g (7.1oz) Chestnut mushrooms, halved if large

1 Garlic clove, peeled and crushed

4 Chicken thighs

4 Chicken drumsticks

1 pinch Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Can chopped tomatoes

125 ml (4.4fl oz) White wine

2 Sprigs of oregano

1 tbsp Freshly chopped parsley


(1) Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and fry the onion for about 10 mins until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook until golden. Set aside on a plate.

(2) Add another drizzle of oil, if necessary, and brown the chicken pieces in the pan, seasoning as you go. Return the onion mixture to the pan and pour over the tomatoes, wine and 150ml boiling water. Add the oregano. Cover and simmer for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked.

(3) Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Baked hake with crisp pancetta and anchovies

Baked hake with crisp pancetta and anchovies recipe - Northern LivingFor the traditionalists this might be a Friday dish. But regardless of the day it's a flavour packed, low fat recipe which will take you not more than 30 minutes at most.


800 g Firm fleshed hake fillets

½ cup Finely chopped parsley

6 slices of Pancetta

Juice of 1 lemon

4 Anchovies

2-3 Sprigs fresh thyme

2 Table spoons of Olive oil


(1) Preheat the oven to 180°C.

(2) Arrange your hake fillets on a baking tray and season to taste. Top with slices pancetta or Parma ham.

(3) Combine finely chopped parsley with the juice of 1 lemon, anchovies, sprigs fresh thyme and  olive oil.

(4) Drizzle over the fish, then bake for 15–20 minutes, or until succulent but still firm.

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Croquettes Recipe

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Croquettes RecipeBacon-Wrapped Potato Croquettes

Croquettes are the perfect appetizer to serve at a party or family function where you want to make something that shows the appetizers weren ‘t just an afterthought, or worse bought in! You can easily make a regular batch and a vegetarian batch by omitting the bacon, if you have vegetarian guests.


Quantities to server 4 as an  appetizer / starter

1 pound mashed potatoes (about 3 cups)

10-12 slices bacon or prosciutto

8 oz. cabbage, shredded

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

all-purpose flour, for dredging

vegetable oil, for frying

Crushed black pepper


(1) Fill a small pan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.

(2) Boil shredded cabbage for 15-16 minutes, or until tender.

(3) Drain water and pat dry with paper towels or cook over low heat to reduce moisture.

(4) In a large bowl, mix mashed potatoes with drained cabbage.

(5) Add in egg and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Then add cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

(6) Divide potato cabbage mixture into even sections, form into patties and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

(7) Set up a shallow bowl with enough flour to thoroughly coat all the croquettes and heat 1/2-1 inch of oil in a deep pan until it reaches 160 F.

(8) Dredge all croquettes in flour, making sure to coat them completely. Then wrap a slice of bacon around each one and attach with wooden toothpicks or cocktail sticks.

(9) Carefully slide the croquettes into the hot oil, leaving enough space so they don't touch.

(10) Cook each side for about 3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown and cooked through.

(11) Move croquettes to a paper towel-lined plate and let drain. 

(12) Remove toothpicks. 

(13) Sprinkle with crushed black pepper.

Blackberry Liqueur Recipe

Blackberry Liqueur RecipeDespite the changeable weather this summer the early blackberries are read. As we've had quite a bit of rain recently they are plump and sweet, but may not keep very well as soft fruit. So here is a recipe you might enjoy later in the year if you have a glut at the moment...


750ml vodka. A generic brand will be fine, but decent quality

450g fresh blackberries

600g caster sugar

250ml water


(1) Add the sugar and water to a pan and heat slowly until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature

(2) Now pour the vodka into a large, clean glass container or decanter. Add the sugar syrup and the blackberries, taking care not to crush the berries. Cover with cling film and leave to infuse for at least 2 weeks. You can give it a stir every couple of days, but don't be too violent and crush the fruit.

(3) After 2 weeks, strain the drink through a fine muslin or cloth into bottles - 1 large or a couple of small. Resist the temptation to drink it right away, but leave it to sit for another couple of weeks.


 Makes approx 1 litre.



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