Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Everyone who knows Dot Dash and me knows that I love to cook and I love to cook food that is frigging tasty BUT simple to make.

What makes cooking even better is knowing that I don’t have to spend a fortune on ingredients and I don’t have to visit 16 stores to achieve one meal.

For us as a busy family we meal plan EVERY week and sit down on a Thursday and do our online shop via the Countdown website. It’s boring and monotonous BUT it does save you money and time and when you’re a parent those things are about as rare as a unicorn doing the macarena in your lounge.

We know that Countdown wants Kiwi families to eat better for less. We have our menu plan but they are known to change if the Price Lockdown has something that tickles our fancy. Believe me this is NOT a rare occurrence.

We tend to recycle our meals every 3-4 weeks so it can get a bit boring.

Countdown gave me the challenge to cook something I had never cooked before but the catch was that it had to have chicken in it. I couldn’t decide as I have dabbled with many a chicken dish in the past so I passed it over to the family for ideas.

This was the hard bit.

Chicken soup – done.

Teriyaki chicken and rice – done.

Thai green curry – done.

Roast chicken with ALL the trimmings – done.

Then the Masterchef of the house (who never cooks – can you guess who it is?) decided he wanted to get back to his heritage and decided on Chicken Parmigiana.

I’ve never eaten it, let alone cooked it but I love a good challenge.

This is my take on Donna Hays Chicken Parmigiana. 

Chicken Parmigiana with Basil Pesto

Serves 4

Chicken Schnitzel

300g bread or 2 cups of breadcrumbs

1 TBS finely grated lemon

2 TBS thyme (dried or fresh)

¼ cup plain flour

Sea Salt

Cracked pepper

2 eggs (free range if possible)

¼ cup milk

4 x 200g chicken breast fillets (halved horizontally)

Oil for frying.

  1. Place the bread, lemon and thyme in a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Transfer to a separate dish.

  2. Combine flour, salt and pepper in another dish.

  3. Whisk milk and eggs in a separate dish.

  4. Using a mallet or rolling pin bash the chicken until it is an even thickness.

  5. Line up your crumbing dishes as follows. Flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.

  6. Heat oil in a pan and fry the chicken in batches turning every 3 mins or until the chicken is golden.

  7. Place chicken is a large baking dish.

Basil Pesto

2 cups basil leaves

½ tsp crushed garlic

¼ cup pinenuts (toasted)

¼ cup grated parmesan

½ cup olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blitz until a chunky paste forms.

  2. Season to taste.


  1. Place 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes (some halved) around the chicken schnitzel. On top on the schnitzel place 200g-250g mozzarella (block or grated).

  2. Bake at 180 for 8-10 min until the cheese is melted

  3. Spoon over the basil pesto and serve.

Check out the video below.


This blog was sponsored by Countdown NZ. 

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