It was 7 years ago when I came to Israel and the first thing my employer asked when I came to her was, “Do you know how to cook?” And I was like … “hell yeah!”. Then she told me that there are only 2 things in this world she loves to eat, Chicken Soup and Schnitzel. And I was like “What in seven hell is SCHNITZEL?”
It’s nothing but golden fried crispy chicken breast. It was originally called Wiener Schnitzel, a traditional Viennese Cuisine made from escalopes of veal coated with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. But it became popular in Israel when European Jews started to migrate here. The recipe evolved and people eventually learned to love chicken, fish and turkey schnitzel instead of veal. Today, you can seldom find a restaurant here in Israel that doesn’t include chicken schnitzel on their menu list. It’s so popular that you cannot even find a single foreign caregiver who doesn’t know how to make one. Even in supermarkets, when you want to buy chicken breasts, you usually ask for “a kilo of schnitzel” instead of “a kilo of chicken breasts”. It’s usually pre-pounded and thin enough to coat and fry.
However, there are many methods on how to make Chicken Schnitzel. Most of the restaurant follow the Kosher way of making one. The not-so Jewish folks (like me) do it the other way. But either, Chicken Schnitzel is one of the best way to cook chicken breasts. It’s juicy, crispy, perfect pair for french fries and of course, kids love it. It’s more like chicken nuggets but way bigger and flatter.
2 pieces chicken breasts; divided into 4 pieces ( I usually slice my chicken breast into 2 parts coz I don’t normally like super wide piece of schnitzel).
2 eggs; beaten
1 tbsp milk (if you want kosher then you have to omit the milk of course)
Panko breadcrumbs (or whatever breadcrumbs you want)
sesame seeds; optional
salt and pepper
canola cooking oil
1. If your chicken breasts are not pre-pounded from the supermarket, you need a mallet to pound the chicken meat. Place a long plastic wrap on your countertop or chopping board. Place the chicken on top of it and cover with another plastic wrap. Pound the meat until they are about a quarter of an inch thick.
2. Season with salt, pepper and hot paprika then set aside inside the fridge.
3. Prepare 3 shallow bowls and 1 empty plate. One with your beaten eggs plus milk, one with flour plus some salt and one with bread crumbs plus sesame seeds and a little ground pepper. The other extra plate is where you will place your well-coated chicken breast before frying.
4. Dip your chicken breasts one by one into your 3 bowls. First with beaten eggs, then with flour, back to your beaten eggs then finally with your Panko breadcrumbs. Coat well and set aside using your empty plate.
5. Heat your oil in a pan in medium-low heat. Wait until it’s hot enough but not smoking hot for it will burn your crumbs in no time. Fry your coated chicken breasts not more than 2 pieces at a time. It will only take about 2-3 minutes to cook per side because the meat is very thin. Make sure not to overcook your breaded chicken because it will be greasy and tasteless. If the crumbs starts to get golden and sounds crispy against your metal fork, then it’s done.
6. Transfer into a plate with paper towel to soak off excess oil. Serve with mustard, mayo, or ketchup with your favorite side dish. It could be salad, french fries, rice or mashed potato.
They usually serve Chicken Schnitzel with lemon and trust me, it’s super yummy with lemon. But then again, you can eat this with anything you want. So that’s how I make my schnitzel and I hope you’ll give this a try :-)