Hello, Hello, Hello! Let’s talk about shnitzel.
Is there any food more delicious and comforting than fried chicken? It is utterly indulgent and yummy yet simple to make. Today I am sharing my recipe for the perfect schnitzel – the sophisticated Austrian older sister of fried chicken.
There are three factors to consider when making shnitzel:
- The quality of your meat – in this case chicken. I would recommend getting the best quality meat that you can afford as it is the star of the show and there is no excess of other flavours or sauces for it to hide behind. You want a medium sized chicken breast that is flattened to tenderize it and to ensure that the meat cooks through.
- The breadcrumb. In this recipe I use Japanese panko breadcrumbs as in my opinion they give the best coverage and dry crispy coating plus they have the most amazing flavour when fried. This choice of crumb may raise a few eyebrows in Austria as they favour the use fresh bread crumbs but I find that it doesn’t result in the same crispy texture and can become too soft and greasy. Sorry if my panko shniztel offends anyone but trust me it is SO good!
- The seasoning. Season at every stage of preparation to ensure that perfect shnitzely flavour. As well as breadcrumbs the chicken is coated in both plain flour and egg prior to frying and all three of these should be generously seasoned.
I serve my chicken schnitzel alongside a creamy sweet potato mash, charred corn on the cob (off the cob) and a sprinkling of cress to delude myself into believing this is a healthy dish. Vegetables counterbalance the huge amount of oil used to fry the chicken in right?! I have tried and tested many a technique to give corn that barbecued flavour and texture (without actually using a BBQ) so that is how I cook it here but feel free to just boil it for 10 minutes if you prefer. You can accompany this with the more traditional potato salad or frites if you so wish however! Finally make sure you serve this up with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over everything, it quite simply takes the schnitzel to cloud nine.
Prep time – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 15 minutes
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon of plain flour
- 1 egg, mixed well
- 100g panko breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
- sunflower oil
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 corn on the cobs
- 1 knob of butter
- 1 lemon
- a handful of cress
- Wrap the chicken breasts in grease-proof paper and using either a frying pan, the palm of your hand or a rolling pin bash the chicken until it is a couple of mm thick.
- On separate plates place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs and season each with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. In turn dip each chicken breast first in the flour (tap off any excess), then the egg and then the breadcrumbs until it is evenly coated.
- In a medium sized frying pan, large enough to fit both chicken breasts, pour in the oil until it is about and inch deep and place on the hob on the highest setting.
- When the oil starts to bubble turn the heat down to medium and place the chicken inside. It may spit oil around so please be careful at this stage. Turn this every two minutes to ensure than it never burns and cook for 10 minutes in total. This should cook the chicken throughout but if you are unsure cut it open to check.
- Meanwhile place the corn on the cob in a frying pan on a high heat and boil the sweet potato until they are soft.
- When the corn on the cob has charred a little turn the heat down and place a saucepan lid over it, this will steam the corn whilst keeping the charred flavour on the surface. Stick a fork into a corn kernel to check that it is soft and cooked through before serving. You can either use a sharp knife to shave off the corn of just plate it up whole and slathered in butter.
- Drain the sweet potatos, add the knob of butter and generously season and then mash until smooth.
- When the chicken is done place it on grease-proof paper to absorb any excess oil.
- Plate the chicken, corn and sweet potato mash up and sprinkle over some cress and lemon juice.
I hope that you enjoy reading and cooking this recipe. Let me know in the comments what you think!