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Quick and easy smokey Chicken Schnitzel (gluten free)

It's 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. I awoke this morning at 6, had breakfast, and cooked. Then I baked. Then I cooked a bit more, then baked a lot more. The result is my sister now has some nice gluten free food to serve at her party tonight. There was another result. Dad turned to me about ten minutes ago and said 'So what's for dinner mate?' Umm.. If you want a mini sausage roll, a pumpkin and bacon quiche or a slice of triple choc layer cake I can accommodate you, otherwise you may have to sort your own out tonight.

So I write this post not because I am inspired by the hours and hours I spent perfecting difficult foods today, I write it because even Gordon Ramsay gets home from work some nights and tells his wife she can sort her own toasted sandwich out. We all need a BREAK sometimes!

This is why I present to you the humble Chicken Schnitzel (and not those horrid anemic ones you buy from Coles and Woolies). You may remember my not so humble, not so easy Quinoa crusted Chicken Parmi. That was when I was still quite green. I foolishy believed everyone had an hour handy to prepare dinner. Well what if you only have 15 minutes? But you want something tasty, healthy and filling? Enter the Schnitzel!!!

  This recipe literally takes no time to whip up. Make sure you have on hand some chicken, some polenta (bread crumbs work just as well), some smokey Paprika and some mustard and you are dead set good to go! Give yourself 15 mins to cook in the oven and 10 mins to prep. Serve it with whatever side you wish. Here I've suggested sweet chilli sweet potato mash, but you can use steamed veggies, souffle or chocolate cake if you want!

Serves: 4
Prep - 10
Cook - 15
Eat - As long as you want baby, take your time and enjooooy it!

2 double chicken breasts, sliced down the middle to make 4 pieces
200g Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup smokey paprika
3/4 cup instant Polenta
1/4 cup grated parmesan
700g Kumara (sweet potato) cut in to 4cm rounds
1/4 cup natural yogurt
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 F). 
2. Combine the polenta, parmesan and paprika in a bowl. Mix well and season if desired

 3. Pour your mustard in to a separate bowl. Dunk each chicken breast first in the mustard bowl, then the polenta one, ensuring full coverage. Press the polenta in to the chicken if it doesn't stick

4. Place the chicken on a roasting rack, or if you don't have one, a shallow ceramic baking dish (do not line it, just sprinkle some olive oil around the base)
5. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cooked through

6. Whilst this is going on, place your Kumara in a microwave safe bowl and zap for 7 minutes on high or until soft.
7. Combine yogurt, sweet chilli and kumara and mash away till it's nice and smooth
8. Serve!

Some thoughts. You can turn this in to a chicken parmi very easily, just do everything up to step 5, and incorporate steps 1, 5 and 6 from this recipe during the 16 minutes of baking.

Throw a fried egg on top of each with some sliced ham, make an aussie schnitzel!

Spread home-made pesto, like the one at the bottom of this page. Top with sliced Kalmata olives, Fetta cheese and artichokes to make a greek schnitzel! 

Instead of yogurt, use cream or butter for a richer taste. I use Harbanero sauce for that extra bite. Throw some pungent cheese in there too before you start mashing to develop an even deeper flavour.

To check if the chicken is done, the easiest way is to cut down the middle of the thickest piece and have a peek inside. If it's pink or you see any pink looking flesh, keep cooking. If you're keen on presentation and don't want to mangle your bird before you serve it, give each breast a squeeze (less fun than it sounds) and if the juices run clear you're good to go.

And as always, enjoy :)

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