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Styrian Breaded Chicken Salad

The "Steirischer Backhendlsalat" is a specialty of Styria, a province called the ‘Green Heart’ of Austria. This dish features a staple in Styrian cuisine, its famous pumpkin seed oil – also known as the 'Green Gold' of Styria.
Styria's traditional fried chicken salate with pumpkin seed oil © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang SchardtStyria's traditional fried chicken salate with pumpkin seed oil © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Schardt
  • 4 chicken breasts or the deboned meat from 3-4 drumsticks
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • Coarse-ground flour and bread-crumbs to coat the chicken
  • Clarified butter and/or plant oil for frying
  • Salad
  • Fresh salad leaves, as preferred (lamb's lettuce, green or iceberg lettuce, lollo rosso, ect.)
  • 1-2 tbsp Styrian balsamic apple vinegar or other good vinegar
  • 3-5 tbsp Styrian pumpkin seed oil (or other plant oil)
  • A splash of strong, slightly warmed vegetable or beef stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A pinch of hot mustard
  • Cherry tomatoes for the garnish

How to make it:

Debone the drumstick by taking off the skin and cutting the meat away from the bone with a sharp knife. Cut the breast or drumstick meat into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Season well all over with salt and leave to stand, covered, for around 1 hour (if short on time, the marinading stage can be omitted).

Meanwhile, for the marinade stir the mustard into a little of the slightly warmed stock until smooth, and then mix in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and mix together with the pumpkin seed oil. Sample it to check the taste. Clean and wash the salad leaves and leave them to drip dry or use a salad spinner.

Beat the eggs briefly on a plate or in a bowl, with the flour and breadcrumbs ready on two more plates. Now roll the chicken pieces in the flour to coat them, dip them in the beaten egg and coat them with breadcrumbs.

In a pan, heat a good quantity of clarified butter or plant oil. Place the chicken pieces into the hot fat and, depending on size, cook for 3-7 minutes until golden brown, turning once. Remove and allow to drain on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, marinade the dried salad leaves and arrange them in the centre of large serving plates.

Place the crispy chicken pieces on (or even better around) the salad only immediatly prior to serving. Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes.

Serve with crisp rolls or pumpkin seed bread.

Did you know? The reason Styrian fried chicken is particularly famous has a lot to do with "Sulmtal poultry". From the 17th century, the particularly fleshy capons and poulards known as Sulmtalm poultry proved highly popular at many a high table amongst the nobility of Europe. During the Habsburg Monarchy, these delicious broiler chickens were even supplied to markets on the far side of the Alps, as fas as Trieste and Marburg.

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