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James Street South Cookery School: Chicken Escalope and Pea Puree & Fried Squid with Romesco Sauce

Chicken Escalope is a firm favourite at both Hadskis and James St South
Niall McKenna

GOLDEN and crispy just like autumn leaves, our Chicken Escalope is a firm favourite at both Hadskis and James St South at this time of year.

Paired with our pea puree, this dish becomes a real crowd-pleaser, perfect for fussy-eaters, foodies, as a quick evening fix or dinner party hero. What's more, it's an easy one to master – so once you've given it a try, you'll never consider shop-bought again.

Squid has long been a favourite in our restaurants and whilst both venues serve squid differently, romesco sauce is almost always the common denominator.

Romesco sauce to fish is what apple sauce is to pork. Its nutty base and smoky, peppery finish makes for an intensely satisfying experience. Our sauce is a key component but it's the squid that's the real show-stopper.

Both of these dishes are in good company amongst the other dishes on our winter menus at James Street South and Hadskis – and we know you will love them too!

:: Chicken Escalope and Pea Puree (Serves 4)

4 x 300g chicken breasts flattened

30g Japanese panko breadcrumbs

Sea salt

Black pepper

2 eggs beaten

2 tbsp vegetable oil

:: For the pea puree:

500g peas

Salt and pepper

:: Method

Using Japanese breadcrumbs is a great way to change a dish's taste and texture and we use these regularly at the restaurants. Start by placing the breadcrumbs in bowl – for added taste you can add a teaspoon of sesame seeds if desired.

Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and dip in the egg ensuring it is coated in the liquid. Press the wet chicken into the breadcrumbs and coat on both sides. Repeat with all chicken breasts.

Next, heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and add the chicken cooking on each side for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden and cooked through, keeping warm whilst you turn your attention to your puree.

Cook the peas in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and blend in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste.

This is a great dish served with some greens cooked in thin sliced ginger and soy sauce.

:: Fried Squid with Romesco Sauce (Serves 4)

For the squid:

2 squid approx. 225g each

To season:

Lemon

Chives

Coriander

Dill

Chervil

Salt and pepper

Squid Flour mix:

300g corn flour

150g rice flour

90g potato flour

5g garlic powder

4g salt

10g white pepper

For the romesco:

1 whole Romano pepper

1 tbs peanuts

1 garlic clove

1 red chilli, de-seeded

2 cherry tomatoes

4 tsp ground almonds

1/4 of day-old ciabatta loaf

50ml olive oil

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

:: Method

Cut the squid in half and clean under running water. Score the internal side using a knife and slice into thin strips, 4 inches by 1/2 inch wide. Mix all the dry ingredients together to make the flour, storing what you don't use in an airtight container.

Thoroughly coat squid strips with the mix and deep fry for 1 minute at 180C. Remove from the fryer basket and place onto a baking sheet to remove excess oil. Squeeze with fresh lemon and season with salt and pepper.

For the garnish, chop a mixed handful of chives, coriander, dill and chervil and place on the plate.

To make the romesco sauce, grill the Romano pepper until it is blackened, this can be done on a gas hob just holding the pepper over the flame. Once blackened, place in an airtight container to cool.

Once cool, rub off the blackened skin and slice. Toast the peanuts in a dry pan and blend into the pepper and the rest of the ingredients.

Romesco is the base of an aioli, which can easily be made by mixing 2 eggs, 1 clove garlic and 150ml olive oil in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Add the oil gently to ensure it binds well.

When smooth, simply mix with the romesco.

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