Josh and Nic's Chicken Schnitzel Focaccia

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant, thickly sliced into 4 slices

Olive oil, to brush

4 focaccia rolls, split  

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced

1 buffalo mozzarella, thickly sliced

50g baby rocket leaves

Lemon Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tsp Dijon mustard

250ml (1 cup) light olive oil

Pesto

1 bunch basil leaves

50g (1/3 cup) pine nuts, toasted

2 garlic cloves, crushed

80ml (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan

80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil

Chicken Schnitzel

200g (2 cups) breadcrumbs (combination of fresh and panko)

1 lemon, zested

20g (¼ cups) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

150g (1 cup) seasoned plain flour, to dust

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Vegetable oil, to shallow-fry

4 chicken thighs, pounded to an even thickness

Method

1. To make mayonnaise, process egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a food processor until well combined. With the motor running, gradually add oil, drop by drop at first, then in a thin, steady stream until thick and emulsified. Season and refrigerate until needed.

2. To make pesto, process basil, nuts, garlic and parmesan until just combined. With the motor running, gradually add oil, drop by drop at first, then in a thin, steady stream until thickened. Season and refrigerate until needed.

3. Preheat a chargrill or barbecue grill plate over medium heat. Brush eggplant all over with oil and season. Add to grill and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until charred and cooked through. 

4. To make schnitzel, combine breadcrumbs, lemon zest and parsley in a large bowl. Place seasoned flour in a shallow bowl. Place eggs in another shallow bowl.

5. Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 180C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Dust chicken in seasoned flour, dip in egg, allow to drain off, then press into crumb mixture. Gently drop schnitzel into the oil and fry, turning halfway, for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season. 

6. Sandwich rolls with mayonnaise, pesto, mozzarella, schnitzel, rocket, tomato and eggplant. Serve.

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