Schnitzel often doesn’t love us back:
Too many diners complain love it but are disappointed that they get so easily dried out.
My daughter-in-law Ruthie makes the best schnitzel but always keeps insisting she does nothing in particular, so I decided to spy on her once when she made the dish, from beginning to end. The result is some friendly troubleshooting for everyone.
So here are the golden rules for making the perfect schnitzel:
• Dry them thoroughly with paper towels so they don’t get soggy.
• Pound them evenly so they cook evenly.
• Don’t pound them thinner than ⅓ inch.
• Don’t cook them over very high heat, as chicken breasts are sensitive to excessive heat and might scorch.
• Cook the schnitzel until almost, not completely, cooked. Keeping them in a very low temperature oven will do the rest of the job until serving time, and get them cooked to perfection.
Bread crumbs: We all have little chunks of bread we hate to throw away.
Don’t hesitate to make your own bread crumbs, including Gluten-Free; they will taste much better than store-bought. Put a few pieces of stale bread in a food processor and grind for a few seconds—that’s the whole story.
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 8 chicken cutlets, thoroughly dried with paper towels and pounded about ⅓ inch thick
- Flour, any flour
- Spices and herbs of your choice: ground pepper, minced parsley flakes, nutmeg, minced fresh garlic, oregano
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs, gluten-free OK
Put oil to heat in a heavy large skillet to come up about ⅓ inch deep. While the oil is heating, get everything ready: Mix the flour with the seasonings and place in a plate. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Place the bread crumbs in a separate plate.
When the oil is hot, reduce to medium high. Dredge each cutlet in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess, then dipping the egg, shaking off the excess, then press into the bread crumbs. Repeat with all cutlets. Fry about 2 minutes on each side until just golden. Do not overcook.
Transfer onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
When you are done frying, remove the paper towels, cover the cutlets with foil, and let them rest a few minutes in a low-temperature oven before uncovering.
Serve warm or at room temperature.