Chicken schnitzel

(Food styling/karoline boehm goodnick; wiqan ang for boston globe)
February 11, 2009

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Serves 4

Schnitzel, the German word for cutlet, originally referred to deep-fried, breaded veal popular in Austrian and German cuisines. The technique can be used with pork and chicken with the same basic steps of flattening the meat, then dipping it in flour, egg, and bread crumbs. Flaky Japanese panko gives a delicate crispness and lighter texture than regular bread crumbs. To flatten the meat, place it between two sheets of parchment or wax paper, and gently pound it with a flat-sided mallet or heavy pan. This recipe calls for clarified butter, which adds a rich flavor to the toasted crust. To clarify butter, melt 2 sticks unsalted butter gently over low heat. Let it stand for 10 minutes, then use a spoon to skim the foamy solids off the top. Pour the butter into a bowl, leaving the watery residue in the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use (this yields about 12 tablespoons). Chicken schnitzel is dressy enough to serve on a special night.

1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken cutlets (5 ounces each), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
12 tablespoons clarified butter
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1. Set the oven at 300 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Set up 3 shallow bowls. Place the flour in one; bread crumbs in another. In the third bowl, beat the eggs well with salt. Lightly season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.

3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat half the clarified butter. Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge it all over in flour. Dip in egg to coat all over, letting the excess drip off. Place the cutlet in the panko and coat so both sides are covered. Do not press the crumbs into the meat or the coating will become too firm.

4. Quickly place the cutlet in the skillet. Add another coated cutlet. Cook for just under 2 minutes on a side or until golden all over. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels and blot the schnitzel on both sides. Set the schniztels on the baking sheet and transfer to the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining cutlets in the remaining butter in the same way. Serve with lemon.

Necee Regis