Chicken cutlets… Like nuggets for grown-ups

Every child that I know loves chicken nuggets. I am not sure of the science behind a child’s love of nuggets, but I have an idea that it might have something to do with the sheer deliciousness of them.

The problem is of course that store-bought chicken nuggets, are not really that healthy. They are full of fats, high in salts and generally are laden with added ickyness.

So I am glad that I have successfully tested these delicious chicken cutlets on my children. And even though they are not nuggets shaped, they can be cut into smaller pieces to resemble nuggets which should fool even the most astute child into trying them.


This recipe is based on a recipe from one of Nigella Lawson’s television series. 

  • Preparation time: 15 mins, plus marinating time
  • Cooking time: 20 mins

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  • 4 chicken breast, skinned and boned
  • 1 x 284 ml pot buttermilk (or see notes below)
  • 1 tbsp Worrcestershire sauce
  • 125 g fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • oil for frying, groundnut or similar
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Unroll a large piece of clingfilm, then open out the chicken breast and lay them on the clingfilm. Cover the chicken with another piece of clingfilm and bash with a rolling-pin until they are thin.
  2. Mix the buttermilk and Worcestershire sauce. Then add the chicken and leave for a minimum of 30 minutes, but ideally overnight to marinate.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs, celery salt, cayenne pepper, thyme and Parmesan. When your chicken has finished marinating, press them into the breadcrumbs, one at a time, and cover the whole piece of chicken. Then lay them on a rack, like you would use for cooling cakes, until you are ready to fry.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan (just enough to cover the base to a depth of about 5 mm/1 inch).
  5. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken for about 3 minutes per side. Once golden remove them and blot of any excess oil with a piece of kitchen roll (paper towel for my American friends). If you are using a small frying pan you can keep them warm by putting them in a preheated oven (heated to GM2/150°C


If you cannot get buttermilk, you can use a 4/1 mixture of plain yogurt/full-fat milk or mix 250 ml semi-skinned milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white wine vinegar.


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