Don’t fry those brains!

In Recipes on November 21, 2011 at 12:19 am

Some say that people will eat anything if it is crumbed and deep fried.  This may be true but only if the diner doesn’t know what is inside.  I was once served crumbed lambs’ brains by my practical joker of a mother.  Along with my brother and sister I did eat them because I didn’t know what they were.  Mum told us we were having schnitzels for dinner and added that she had a surprise for us when we had eaten all that was on our plates.  I remember being suspicious of the soft texture of the ‘schnitzels’ but I still ate them being a kid and fond of surprises.  Of course, Mum’s surprise was to tell us we had just eaten lambs’ brains.  At least she got a good laugh though we didn’t think her little joke was funny.

Lambs’ brains do not have a place in my kitchen though I do concede that some people like them.  Instead I like to crumb free range chicken or seafood.  I prefer to use Japanese panko breadcrumbs as they produce a crispier result – they are available in most supermarkets these days or try your local Asian grocer.  Deep frying is apparently healthier that shallow frying as long as you have the oil hot enough to seal the crumbed coating.  This time I made little gremolata crumbed chicken morsels that can be served as a meal or as finger food.  They are good accompanied by grilled capsicum mayonnaise.

Tasty and versatile

Gremolata Crumbed Chicken Morsels  


600g free range chicken breast fillets

2 cups Japanese panko breadcrumbs

2 tbs finely chopped Italian parsley

1 tbs finely grated lemon zest

1 tbs minced garlic

2 free range eggs (lightly beaten with a dash of milk)

1/2 cup plain flour

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

1/2 – 1 grilled capsicum (pureed in the food processor)

1/2 – 1 cup home made or good quality commercial whole egg mayonnaise


Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  In a large bowl mix together your breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon zest and minced garlic.  Place flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper.  Place your egg wash in a bowl.  Dredge your chicken pieces in flour, dip in the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs.  Make sure they are well coated.  Refrigerate 1 hour to ‘set’ the crumb.  Heat 2 cups sunflower oil in a large saucepan or wok.  The oil is hot enough when bubbles form around the handle of a wooden spoon that is dipped in.  Gently fry the chicken morsels until golden brown all over – I regulate the temperature of the oil by adding or removing the food.  Drain on a wire rack over a tray and finish for 10 mins in a 180c oven.  To make the mayonnaise – mix the grilled capsicum puree with the mayonnaise, season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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