Bacaro’s ‘Crispy Chicken Milanese with Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Bacon Bits’
Hello to all those people in quarantine who are feeling severely deprived from eating out! If you’re like me, you would love to keep ordering takeaways from your favourite spots. However, many are now closed and not all of us can afford to get food delivered regularly in these uncertain times. But, have no fear, because DadBodEatsUk is here to help you through this! In this series of articles, I am going to try and show you how to recreate a few of my favourite restaurant meals at home. None of them will be too complicated, but they will (hopefully) be delicious and maybe even take you back to happier times! So, if you’re missing your favourite restaurants, then follow @DadBodEatsUK for some tasty ideas.
For those of you who have read my previous flog titled ‘9 of the Best Restaurants in Liverpool’, you may have seen a beautiful photo of Bacaro’s ‘Crispy Chicken Milanese with Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Bacon Bits’. This has long been a favourite dish of mine, and as I have so much free time these days, I thought I would give it a go! Here is what you need to try it at home.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 300g Pasta (ideally macaroni but I had to improvise with a mixture of penne & fusilli)
- 1tbsp Butter
- 1tbsp Flour
- 2tsp Paprika
- Enough Milk (I know this is very specific)
- 200+g Cheddar/Other Cheese (feel free to mix, match or just add more)
- 4 Chicken Breasts/deboned thighs
- 100ish g Breadcrumbs (either made from stale bread or panko)
- 100ish g Flour (enough to lightly cover chicken)
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Eggs
- 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 3 Rashers Streaky Bacon
- If you have time, start by putting your chicken in salted water to ‘brine’ for a few hours. This isn’t essential but makes the chicken juicier and more flavoursome.
- Cook your pasta but take it out about a minute before it’s ready.
- Start making your cheese sauce by making a roux.
- This starts with melting your butter in a saucepan and then adding the flour to it.
- Stir it with a whisk and cook the flour out for around 5 mins, adjusting the heat so it doesn’t burn.
- Start slowly adding milk and stirring continuously with the whisk to make sure you don’t get lumps (if you start seeing some, don’t panic, just keep whisking and adding milk slowly and they will go)
- Keep adding milk until it gets thin enough to stir easily but still has some stickiness.
- Add the grated/broken up cheese in batches and stir until it’s all melted in.
- Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste.
- Put pasta in with cheese sauce, mix and put aside.
- Get the bacon grilling and keep an eye on it – take it out when it’s really crispy but just before it burns.
- If you have brined the chicken, then put it between paper towel to dry it.
- Put the chicken on a chopping board between grease-proof paper and give it a firm beating with a rolling pin (if you’re like me and don’t have one, a wine bottle, or similar will suffice). This is just to flatten it and try and get the thickness more even, so it cooks consistently.
- Get a frying pan on a high heat and add the oil so it’s about 1cm deep.
- Put your flour, whisked egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls and season them all lightly.
- Take your pieces of chicken and cover them in a thin layer of flour first. Shake and then dip in the egg and shake again. Then dip in breadcrumbs and cover evenly.
- Once they are well coated put them into the HOT oil and leave for a couple of minutes. If they start to cook too quickly then turn the heat down, but make sure the oil is really hot to start.
- When they are brown on the bottom flip and repeat.
- I am not very experienced at this so to make sure they are cooked through, I put them on a wire rack and then transferred to the oven, which was already hot from cooking the bacon (switch from grill to normal). Give them a good blast for 5 mins and then rest on paper towel for a couple of mins.
- Reheat the pasta so it’s nice and hot and chop the bacon up so it becomes more like a crumb.
- Plate up with the chicken first, then the mac either on or next to it. Finish by sprinkling the bacon over the top and serve with some nice wine and the pride of a professional chef!
- If you are like me and want to kid yourself into feeling healthy then a nice lemony salad goes well, adding freshness and cutting through some of the fattiness – Bellissima!
Disclaimer: I didn’t have all the ingredients above (or the professional chef skills), which may explain why it doesn’t look as amazing as the real thing which is posted at the bottom! Still tasted bloody good though.
So, there you have a reasonable simple step-by-step guide to a restaurant standard meal, that you can do cheaply at home! I won’t pretend mine was as good as the real deal, but it did manage to transport me back to Bacaro for a few moments of blissful reminiscence. Plus, there is something incredibly satisfying about serving a dish that you would normally go out for, on your own dining table. Basically, get the ingredients and give it a go because you’ve probably got nothing better to do at the moment. If you get it right, then it’ll put a smile on your face, and if you get it wrong… well you can just blame me and try again!
That’s all from this flog, but I will hopefully be bringing you another restaurant banger very soon – keep your eyes peeled!
Yours in food,