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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Crisp Chicken Cutlets

    I made the the Crisp Chicken Cutlets from Nigella's Kitchen book. They turned out very nicely except for the fact that the crumb didn't want to stay on the chicken. It would either stick to the pan or just fall off while cooking. Do you have any tips to keep the crumb on the chicken?

    From the nigella team:

    There are a few reasons why the breadcrumb coating is coming away from the chicken. The first is that the oil in the pan wasn't hot enough when the cutlets were added. Cold oil will tend to cause the crumb coating to stick to the pan and then it will detach from the chicken. Before cooking the chicken drop a few breadcrumbs into the pan, they should sizzle slightly if the oil is hot enough. Once the chicken is in the pan and the crumbs have browned slightly then you can turn the heat down if you feel that the heat is too high and the cutlets will brown before the chicken is cooked through.

    Don't turn the chicken until the underside is golden brown as turning too early will cause the crumbs to fall off. Also turning the cutlets too frequently can have the same effect. Lift the cutlets carefully to peek underneath and see how brown they are and again reduce the heat if you feel that they are cooking too quickly. Ideally you should turn the cutlets over only once. Also make sure that you don't overcrowd the pan as this will casue the chicken to steam and will again cause the coating to detach. Also shake any excess buttermilk off the chicken before coating them in breadcrumbs, as too much buttermilk will also generate steam and loosen the coating.

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