My morning routine is pretty typical. I wake up as soon as my alarm rings. I never hit snooze. I then do an hour of yoga. Once I’ve untangled myself, I then proceed to the bathroom where I recite my morning mantra in front of the mirror 50 times. It’s now onto the kitchen where I make a homemade granola while listening to This American Life. Did I mention this all happens before 6am?
Of course this is all a lie.
My real morning routine starts at 7am when I wrestle with the snooze button. Three rounds and I am usually out (of bed). I then turn the kettle on before going back to my bedroom, where I proceed to blankly stare into my wardrobe and have an existential crisis. It’s all too much, so I brush my teeth instead. Eventually I face my wardrobe again, get dressed and must decide if today I will do my hair or eat breakfast. There’s never time for both. I then recite my mantra before leaving the house, which is: Wallet, phone, keys.
My mornings are hectic, which is why I plan for lunch the night before. Today’s lunch is one of my favourites and never disappoints, it’s like an obedient boyfriend who never forgets to turn off the electric blanket. It’s the cotoletta sandwich.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
For the cotoletta
1 chicken breast
1 tbsp polenta
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
1 handful parsley
For the Italian Coleslaw
1 granny smith
1/4 red cabbage
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
This first step is my favourite as I like to pretend I am the host of a cooking show on the Food Network, it really gets me in the zone. Cut the chicken breast across length ways, then tenderise your chicken with a meat mallet. This is a great stress relief, especially if you have beef with someone (except this is chicken). If you don’t have a meat mallet, improvise. I once used a can of chickpeas, it was an interesting experience.
Now you have two pieces of chicken ready to be dressed in some cotoletta couture. Crack the egg in a bowl and whisk with some salt and pepper. In another bowl, put your dry ingredients, some shaved parmesan and roughly sliced parsley. Mix together.
Dip your chicken in the egg mixture, then put it in the crumb mixture. Be sure to coat it generously. Set aside.
In a medium-sized fry pan, coat bottom of pan with good quality olive oil. Be generous. Let the oil heat up. I know, waiting sucks. This is a good moment to pass time by texting a friend a non-coherent message of random emojis, then wait for them to respond with a ‘?’.
Okay the oil should be the right temperature now. Put your two pieces of chicken in the pan. Hear that? Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle. It’s the kitchen symphony.
Fry on a medium-low heat, checking the meat until the crumb has turned golden. Once golden, flip over, and repeat process on other side. Remove chicken from pan and let it rest on paper towel.
A great sandwich is not just about the hero ingredient, but also very dependent on the ingredients in key supporting roles. For this one I have chosen a simple Italian coleslaw. The secret to this salad is how thinly you slice every ingredient. We are aiming for sous chef samurai cutting skills here. Thinly slice your apple, cabbage and fennel. Place chopped ingredients in bowl along with some torn parsley leaves. Dress with a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Cut roll in half, place chicken inside along with a generous helping of salad. I like to wrap my sandwich up in foil and pretend I am in a New York deli about to have a life changing moment, except I am in Collingwood where the only thing that comes wrapped in foil is a Smith St souva. A girl can dream, right?