Crumbed chicken & portobello mushrooms on sauce

Crumbed chicken & portobello mushrooms on sauce Tonight's meal was a real winner. We are coating fresh chicken pieces with a lovely herb breadcrumb mix, then placing the chicken pieces and portobello mushrooms in a tray of homemade tomato sauce and covering with fresh herbs, olive oil and cheese.

This is inspired from the family tree chapter in Jamie's Dinners - Jamie provides a recipe for a simple but tasty tomato sauce, and challenges you to do something interesting with it.

This is my take on it.


Lots of fresh herbs, some chicken and some big fat mushrooms.


  • 2 cans of whole roma tomatoes
  • a few fresh chillies
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 30ml red wine vinegar
  • a big handfull of basil leaves
  • salt + pepper to season


  • 12 slices of bread
  • a handfull of fresh sage
  • a handfull of fresh Italian parsley
  • one medium onion

The basics

  • 2 large chicken breasts, each chopped in 3 pieces
  • 10 large portobello or flat mushrooms
  • 150g cheese
  • some fresh sprigs of thyme
  • some fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • one egg + some milk for making the breadcrumbs stick (optional)
  • one glass of white wine
  • olive oil

Getting started

Start off by pouring yourself a glass of white wine. Place the rim of the glass on your bottom lip and tilt your head backwards until you feel relaxed. You may need to repeat this process to get the desired effect.
glass of wine

There we go, now we are ready to get creative with this dish.

Tomato sauce

I'll have to be deliberately brief in this section to avoid breaching any copyright. For the real lowdown on this sauce, you can buy Jamie's book - there are stacks of other recipes in there so it's money well spent.
Start by cutting the chillies down one side, so the flavour will spice up the sauce a little. Saute the garlic, thyme, chillies in some olive oil for a minute, then add the 2 cans of tomatoes. Leave the tomatoes whole at this stage. The sauce will take around 30 minutes to cook.


While the sauce is cooking, you can get cracking on the breadcrumbs. The bread should be nearing the end of it's life, fresh bread tends to stick a little much. We will be adding a lot of herbs to these breadcrumbs, so this should make the breadcrumbs reasonably moist and sticky.
Add the sage, onion, Italian parsley into the blender and give it a quick blitz. On low speed, add the slices of bread one by one and let the mixture blend together until smooth.

Put the breadcrumbs to one side, and move onto the chicken.

Prepare the chicken

The chicken needs to be cooked through, using your cooking method of choice. I pan-fried the chicken with a little paprika, and it worked great, but grilling would be fine too. Just needs to be cooked.

Mix up an egg with some milk in a bowl and dip each piece of chicken in this egg mix before coating with breadcrumbs. If your breadcrumb mix is the right consistency with plenty of fresh herbs, you may not need the egg mixture.

Putting it all together

Once the sauce has been bubbling away for half an hour, remove the chillies, and mush up the whole tomatoes with a spoon. Add some torn fresh basil and red wine vinegar, and stir through.

Pour the sauce into a tray, and arrange the chicken pieces and mushrooms so they are half-dipped in sauce. Sprinkle chopped up rosemary and thyme over the top, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil across the dish, aiming for the mushrooms.

Cook for 25 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius until it looks like this...

The breadcrumbs go all crispy on top, but absorb the sauce from below. The herbs all work together nicely, and taste great when you use plenty of them. And the glass of Chardonnay goes especially well with this one after a day at work. Enjoy.
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Tags: recipeschickenmushroomtomato saucechicken recipes