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Phil Vickery's guide to the best cooking oils and his chicken schnitzel recipe

With olive oil prices soaring by nearly 90% recently with some costing more than a decent bottle of wine, Phil's guiding us through the best alternative oils to save us some money on our weekly shop. He’s using his top picks to cook up a super tasty chicken schnitzel, and an easy all purpose salad dressing to go with his roasted veg & potato salad.


BEST ALL ROUNDER: Sunflower Oil (from £2.15 for 1L) 

BEST FOR PAN FRYING: Rapeseed Oil (from £4.55 for 1L) 

BEST FOR ROASTING/DEEP FRYING/STIR FRYING: Groundnut (Peanut) Oil (from £2.50 for 500ml)

BEST FOR DRESSINGS: Walnut Oil (from £2 for 250ml) / Toasted Sesame Oil (from £2.50 for 250ml)

Chicken Schnitzel with Roasted Vegetables 

Serves: 4


For the roasted vegetables: 100g red onions, cut into chunks 350g yellow, red and orange peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks 200g courgettes, cut into chunks 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks 2 garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled1 tbsp sunflower oil 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, shredded 

For the schnitzel:4 boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets4 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot 2 eggs, beaten 200g panko breadcrumbs 2 tbsp groundnut oil 2 tbsp unsalted butter 


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas mark 7. 

2. Ensure all the prepared vegetables are cut to a similar size so they cook evenly. Spread all the vegetables out in a large roasting dish, then add the garlic cloves. Drizzle over the oil and turn the vegetables to coat fully. 

3. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the veg is very tender (but not too soft) and beginning to colour at the edges. Halfway through the cooking time, open the oven to let the steam out, and turn over the vegetables. 

4. While the vegetables cook, prepare the schnitzels. Place each chicken thigh between a large piece of clear plastic/cling film, add a little water and bash until nice and thin. Repeat with the remaining chicken. 

5. Dust each chicken thigh in a little cornflour, then dip into the beaten egg and coat in the breadcrumbs, patting well to make sure the crust adheres. 

6. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan until foaming and add the schnitzels. Cook until lightly brown, for 3-4 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Once fried, leave to rest on a kitchen towel briefly, to absorb any excess oil. 

7. Once the vegetables are cooked, remove the tray from the oven and season with black pepper. Carefully (it will be very hot) squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin and mix the pulp into the roasted vegetables. Stir in the shredded basil and serve with the chicken schnitzels.

Phil Vickery’s Favourite Salad Dressing

Serves: 2


250g red cabbage, very finely sliced (best on a Japanese mandolin)

For the dressing: 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped Pinch of caster sugar Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp sunflower oil 2 tbsp walnut oil 


1. Place the mustard, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix to fully combine. 

2. Gradually add in the oils, and pour over the cabbage. Again, mix well.

3. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, but even better overnight - remix occasionally throughout the marinating process. 

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