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Tahini chicken schnitzel

Main Midweek
4 people
Prep 15 min
Cook 50 min

This may sound an unlikely combination, but nutty tahini brings rich creaminess to crisp schnitzel. The same treatment also works with pork chops, but adjust cooking times accordingly. Serve with a green salad or a more traditional potato salad, if you prefer.


2 shallots, peeled and sliced into very thin rounds (90g net weight)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
2 large eggs
80g good-quality tahini
2 tbsp dijon mustard
130g panko breadcrumbs
50g sesame seeds
50g plain flour
4 large skinless chicken breasts (680g net weight)
300ml sunflower oil, for frying
For the dressing:
60g good-quality tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1½ tbsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2-3 tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/465F/gas 9. Put the shallot, lemon juice and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt in a small bowl, toss to combine, then leave to soften while you make the rest of the dish. Whisk all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with 50ml water and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, until smooth.
  2. Whisk the eggs, tahini, mustard, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of water in a shallow container (or on a plate with a lip). In a separate container (or plate), mix the panko, sesame and a teaspoon of salt. Put the flour on a third plate.
  3. Lay the chicken breasts on a board and, using a meat mallet (or the base of a heavy saucepan), lightly bash them, until they are about 1½cm thick. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then, one by one, coat the breasts in the flour and shake off any excess. Dredge them one by one in the egg mixture, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Put the oil in a saute pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, fry one chicken breast for about two minutes on each side, until golden, then transfer to a rack set on an oven tray (the rack ensures the bottom of the schnitzels won’t go soggy in the oven). Repeat with the remaining chicken, one breast at a time, then bake for seven minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Cut each schnitzel widthways into 2cm-wide strips, then use the knife to transfer each breast neatly to a large platter. Scatter the shallots on top, drizzle on half the dressing and serve with the rest alongside.