With such a vast amount of chickens being imported into Ireland each week I always enquire to the origin of the chicken that I order in a restaurant or buy from a butcher. When at all possible I like to buy Irish and there are plenty of perfectly good Irish chickens on the market so why are so many imported into Ireland? Why cost of course, as consumers we always want to feel like we are getting a good deal but surely we would all pay that little bit extra if it meant that our chicken didn't have to travel thousands of miles to reach our plates. It's important for our economy that we buy Irish but also for our health, as traceability of the bird is obviously easier but also there are many strict protocols within the food sector that must be adhered to in Ireland. Luckily I don't need to travel far to be assured of free range Irish chicken as my butcher, John Gillivan in Moate, only sells chickens from the Cavan based Chicken Farm, Cootehill. Don't be afraid to ask where your chicken is from because if consumers are looking for more Irish products on the shelves then the retailers will have to meet that demand.
These chicken goujons are a marvellous way to include a high quality protein into a child's diet. Chicken is also packed with Vitamin B and Selenium which makes these goujons not only very tasty but also so nutritious. Children love to help with meal preparation and I always find that they can be more interested in a dish that they have had some input in. Once you have the three bowls set up it is easy for little hands to prepare the goujons, just make sure to wash hands well before and after.
These goujons are delicious served on their own or with ketchup but for a flavoursome alternative try my Creamy Garlic Dip.
3 Free Range Chicken Breasts
50g (2oz) Plain Flour
1 teasp smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g (4oz) breadcrumbs
50g (2oz) Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
3 tablespoons sunflower oil/olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 375° F/ gas mark 5.
2. Cut the chicken into strips, about 5 per chicken breast.
3. Place the flour in the mixing bowl with the smoked paprika, a little salt and pepper.
4. Place the egg in another bowl and beat with a fork.
5. Mix the breadcrumbs and the finely grated cheese in another bowl.
6. Toss the goujons in the flour, then remove and shake off the excess flour.
7. Dip the goujons in the beaten egg. Remove from the egg letting any extra egg drip off.
8. Next, toss the goujons into the breadcrumb mix. Gently shake off crumbs that don’t stick.
9. Lay the goujons on a plate. They can be cooked at this stage but if you have time, cover with cling film and put in the fridge for an hour.
10. Place the baking trays in a preheated oven for 2 mins. Remove and drizzle the base of it with the oil.
11. Carefully place the goujons in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 15-20mins, turning them over half way through.
When they are golden brown and completely cooked remove from the oven and serve immediately with the creamy garlic dip or sauce of your choice.
Creamy Garlic Dip
4 tbsp Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
Squeeze of lemon
In a bowl combine all the ingredients together.
The dip will keep for one week in a container in the fridge.