Pistachio and parmesan chicken strips

A crunchy crust, packed with flavour, makes these versatile tenderloins easy to make and terrific to eat.


You could, if you wanted, run up a batch of these and serve them as a snack with whatever dipping sauce takes your fancy. Or, alternatively, slip two or three onto a plate, add some greenery and you have an easy lunch or dinner. My favourite way with these tasty chicken strips is to slice them into three or four pieces and roll them into wraps with lots of interesting condiments and whatever salad leaves I have to hand.

Make your own breadcrumbs from day-old bread. Let it sit out on the counter to dry out – dry crumbs fry more successfully. I’ve made breadcrumbs from all sorts of bread: sourdough, pita, English muffins, even brioche. They all work wonderfully in their own ways, so feel free to improvise.

Don’t be alarmed by how vibrantly green the crumbing mixture is – that’s the pistachios and parsley – and be assured that it “develops”, like old-fashioned film, into a lovely golden brown when you cook it.

Finally, it’s good to fry at the highest temperature you can without the oil breaking into smoke. The higher you fry, the crisper and less greasy the finished product will be. Or, if you have any sort of fear of frying, you can bake these in a 200°C (400°F) oven for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Pistachio and parmesan chicken strips


Makes about 8.

400g (14 oz) chicken tenderloins
2 tablespoons flour
100g (4 oz) bread
35g (¼ cup) pistachios
⅓ cup fresh parsley
50g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, chopped
1 egg
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup canola oil (or frying oil of your choice)

Put the chicken in a plastic bag (or, if they came in a bag, just use that). Add 2 tablespoons flour and shake to coat well. Set aside.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon water. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small food processor, pulse to combine the bread, pistachios, parsley and parmesan. Tip into another shallow bowl.

Remove a tenderloin from the bag, shaking off any excess flour as you do.

Dip it into the egg-mustard mixture to coat.

Roll in the breadcrumb mixture until thoroughly coated, then place on a plate.

Repeat the flour, egg, breadcrumb procedure for all the tenderloins.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Working in batches (don’t crowd the pan), fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes a side until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a couple of sheets of paper towel to absorb any excess oil.