I love fried chicken, especially in a ciabatta panino with lots of lemon squeezed in for some moisture and taste, and some salad leaves. This is a little more elaborate. It is lovely when the chicken is warm, but if you need to fry the chicken ahead of time it is also good cold.
Prepare the salad on the plates but don’t dress it just yet.
Slice the chicken breast horizontally into 3 portions. They don’t have to be exactly the same size, just go with the natural curves where you need to. Pound each one out a little with a meat mallet. Whisk the egg in a bowl with the thyme and a little salt and pepper. Pour into a wide bowl. Put the chicken in the egg and turn to coat all over. (This step can be done in advance — keep in the fridge, covered, until required.)
Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan together on a flat plate. Lift each piece of chicken from the egg and pat each side firmly into the crumbs. Put the crumbed chicken on a plate. Heat enough oil to cover the bot tom of a large frying pan and when it’s hot add the chicken. Fry until firm and deep golden on the underside, then turn and cook the other side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and keep them warm.
Halve each piece of ciabatta horizontally and fill with the chicken. Now dress the salad and serve it inside the panino or alongside. Squeeze some lemon juice on if you like. Close the panino, squash it so the juices go onto the bread and eat straight away.
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