Des Cahill serves up this delicious chicken starter


  • 4 free range chicken thighs
  • 2 large free range chicken breasts
  • 2 small shallots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2-inch piece ginger (peeled and finely diced)
  • small bunch coriander (chopped)
  • good pinch caster sugar
  • 2 tblsp thai fish sauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • for the crust:
  • 200 g flour
  • 1 free range egg
  • 100 ml milk
  • 200 g breadcrumbs
  • for the thai relish:
  • 40 ml sweet soya sauce
  • 40 ml sweet chilli sauce
  • 30 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tblsp caster sugar
  • 2 tblsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tblsp thai fish sauce
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 shallots (peeled and finely diced)
  • 5 sprigs coriander (chopped)
  • ½ cucumber (peeled, seeded and diced)
  • for the salad:
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely sliced into strips
  • 1 small leek (white part only) finely sliced into strips
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced into strips
  • 1 punnet mustard cress
  • 1 tblsp lime juice
  • 2 tblsp thai fish sauce
  • 1 tblsp caster sugar


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  • Place the chicken thighs on a baking tray and lightly rub with oil, season with salt and pepper and place in the hot oven to roast for 30-40 minutes. Them remove skin and take meat from the bones and chop meat roughly. Set aside to cool.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into small chunks and place in a food processor. Add the shallots, ginger, coriander, sugar, fish sauce, egg whites and season well with salt and black pepper. Blend until it forms a coarse paste.
  • Heat the frying oil to approx 160°C and mix the egg and milk lightly in a bowl. Take the cooled thigh meat and fold into chicken paste and divide the meat mixture into 4 portions. Dust lightly with flour and shape into patties. Dip each pattie into the egg wash and then coat with bread crumbs, repeat this process twice for a thick crumb coating.
  • To make the relish, place the sweet chilli sauce, rice wine vinegar, caster sugar, fresh lime juice, Thai fish sauce, star anise and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and remove pot from the heat. Place the cucumber, shallots and coriander in a small mixing bowl, pour the hot sauce over them and stir gently. Set aside until service.
  • To assemble the salad, place the carrots, leeks, peppers and mustard seed in a bowl. Add in the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce and toss lightly. Season to taste.
  • Place the patties the hot oil and fry until they are golden on both sides, then remove with a slotted spoon and dry off on kitchen towel. Place a pattie on a serving dish with some salad and a side dish with Thai relish.

More by Des Cahill:

Find recipes by keyword:

entertaining party food starters and nibbles thai and se asian the restaurant