Who would have known the joys of the home cooked schnitzel!? I am always left a little underwhelmed at restaurant and with supermarket offerings of this classic European dish. To me they are nearly always overcooked and often use cheap or even processed chicken and are coated in those horrible bright orange breadcrumbs – when done properly the schnitzel can be one of the yummiest and simplest of things to cook. Tonight’s dinner was just that. Crunchy crumbs on the outside, soft and juicy chicken on the inside. Perfection!
4 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons plain flour
2 eggs (beaten)
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (finely grated) (optional)
salt & pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Place a chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently beat with a meat hammer until about 5mm in thickness. Repeat with the remaining breasts.
Generously season the flour with salt & pepper and tip onto a plate.
Tip the beaten egg onto a separate large bowl.
Tip the breadcrumbs into large bowl, season well with salt & pepper and mix in the parmesan cheese (if using).
Flour a chicken breast and pat off the excess, dip into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs. Press the crumbs into the chicken then place on a plate while you repeat the process with the remaining chicken breasts. Cover the schnitzels with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will help the crumbs stay on the chicken when you fry them.
Heat a large frying pan with the butter over a moderate heat (not to high or the breadcrumbs will burn and the chicken won’t cook). When the butter bubbles then settles, add two of the schnitzels to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes either side, until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cook the next two schnitzels the same way.
I served mine with a little sour cream, sauerkraut, potatoes and pickles.