Popcorn might seem like a strange coating to put on chicken and shrimp, but it’s so crispy, light and delicious — it makes total sense once you take that first bite!
- Heat your oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/Gas mark 6. Line two baking trays with foil.
- Put a large saucepan over a high heat and pour in the vegetable oil. When the oil is really hot (it will shimmer and start smoking; see my tip), add the popcorn kernels, give the pan a shake to coat them in the oil and put the lid on. After a little while the popcorn will start exploding in the pan! Wait until the pops slow down (about every 5 seconds) then take off the heat and leave to cool.
- When the popcorn is cool, pour it into your food processor and blitz it to break it up roughly.
- Put the blitzed popcorn into a bowl with the breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and mix everything together.
- Crack the eggs into a second small bowl and beat with a fork or whisk until it is well mixed.
- Dip the chunks of chicken and the prawns into the egg one at a time then into the breadcrumb and popcorn mixture. Make sure they are coated all over. Keep one hand clean and dry to turn on the tap to wash your hands afterwards!
- Put the coated chicken and prawns on two separate baking trays lined with foil and put them into the oven. Remove the prawns after 10 minutes and the chicken after 15 minutes.
- While the chicken and prawns are cooking, chop the gherkins for the dip into small pieces with a large knife as you would cut nuts (see page 14). Slice the spring onions finely.
- Put the mayonnaise, ketchup and Worcestershire into a mixing bowl and stir together. Add the chopped gherkins and spring onions to the bowl, squeeze in the lemon juice and stir again.
- Chop the parsley leaves with a knife or in a mug with a pair of scissors and mix into the dip.
- Put the dip into a bowl and serve with the crispy chicken and prawns.