Master the Art of Tender, Crisp Chicken Schnitzel With Garlic Butter

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken schnitzel is always a family or crowd pleaser but did you know that it is so easy to make these at home yourself! I'll share the secrets to an amazing chicken schnitzel that is tender, juicy and so full of flavour! I also share a gluten free alternative too. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader.

The word schnitzel actually comes from the German verb schnitten or sniz that means to cut or slice. Schnitzel comes from Austria and the most famous version is the Wiener Schnitzel made using a veal fillet. A lot of other countries have their versions of a breaded fillet of meat; Japan has tonkatsu, Italy has cotoletta and France has escalope. The fillet is pounded until then and then dredged through seasoned flour, beaten eggs and then finally some breadcrumbs for a crunchy coating and tender meat inside.

Tips For Making Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel

1 - The most tender chicken schnitzel is always pounded until thin. A lot of chicken schnitzel (in Australia at least) seems to be thicker but honestly once you try the thinner, pounded chicken you'll notice how much more tender it is.

2 - Always season the flour well. It's here that we add all of the flavours from chicken stock powder, garlic to paprika. It may seem like a lot but they get distributed among the flour.

3 - Gluten free schnitzel? YES! If you are coeliac, use a gluten free flour mix instead of regular flour and use almond flour to coat the chicken. It tastes fantastic and sticks just like regular breadcrumbs!

4 - I use chicken stock powder instead of salt as it really enhances the flavour of the end schnitzel. I recommend using Knorr or Lee Kum Kee chicken stock powders. You'll probably need to visit an Asian supermarket for this but trust me, it's worth it.

5 - I also whisk in the "wet" flavours like mustard in with the eggs.

6 - Do the final step of breading just before frying so that it stays crunchy.

7 - I cook schnitzel in half oil and half butter. Do not overcook the schnitzel. If you pound it thinly you will only need to cook it for 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other. If you don't pound it thinly then you will need to cook it for longer.

8 - Serve chicken schnitzel with steamed broccolini, mashed potato, roast potatoes, cucumber salad (recipe to come soon) or braised red cabbage.

Chicken Schnitzel

The reason why I made these chicken schnitzel was because I was given some already sliced chicken breast in my supermarket delivery. I actually asked for chicken breasts for my Tuscan chicken but they sent these chicken schnitzels instead vbut they wouldn't be right for the Tuscan chicken so I kept them in the freezer and attended to them when I got back from Antarctica.

When I came home from Antarctica, things were in quite a state. I normally cook food for Mr NQN to eat while I am away but I didn't have any time for that. Instead I asked him what ready-made meals he wanted from the supermarket but he wasn't really able to come up with any suggestion or ideas. So for breakfast I ordered fruit bread with jam and Nutella and fresh fruit. For lunch he was just going to make himself peanut butter sandwiches supplemented by celery, carrots and vegetables. I told him that he should also roast the pumpkin whole in the oven. I never have to worry about him eating fruit or vegetables but I do have to worry about him getting enough protein.

Chicken Schnitzel

That left dinner so I decided to get him two large 2kg/4.4lb trays of beef lasagne and a couple of frozen pizzas. Each lasagne is designed for 8 servings so I figured that that would be plenty of food for dinner and then some and he wouldn't have to resort to his usual basic survival meal aka pasta and tomato pasta sauce. Many years ago I went to London to visit my sister for a month and he cooked himself pasta and sauce and got really sick because he didn't get enough protein so I figured the beef and cheese lasagne would be good.

The night that I arrived home he picked me up at the airport with Teddy and Milo and told me that he had made dinner. "Is it pasta and sauce?" I said warily and he nodded yes. "What happened to all of the lasagne?" I asked him. He explained that he had tried to buy more lasagne but when he went to the store they were out of it.

"But you had 16 serves of it and I've only been gone for 14 days," I said to him, perplexed. "There are 8 serves per tray of lasagne," I added.

"Eight serves?" he said shocked, "I ate a whole lasagne over two nights!" he said. I shook my head.

Chicken Schnitzel

When I got home I opened the freezer and the two pizzas were there. "Why didn't you eat the pizzas?" I asked him.

"Oh so that's where they were!" he said absent mindedly. I like to partially take credit for keeping him alive...

So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever think that serving sizes are wrong? And what is your most basic survival meal?

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel With Garlic Butter

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes per schnitzel

  • 2 large chicken breasts, about 500g/1.1lb total
  • 1.5 cups/150g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup/40g/1.4ozs plain all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons chicken stock powder*
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Oil and butter for frying (about 50g/3 tablespoons each)

For Garlic Butter

  • 50g/1.7ozs butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or chives
  • Salt to taste

Buyer's tip: I love the Knorr or Lee Kum Kee chicken stock bouillon powder. You can find it at Asian grocery stores in both canisters and bags. I swear by it and it tastes better than any chicken stock powder at Western supermarkets.

Chicken Schnitzel

Step 1 - Slice each chicken breast across in half (you can also buy chicken breasts already sliced in half sold as chicken schnitzels but they still need pounding). Then place on a chopping board and pound the chicken breast into an even thickness with a meat mallet.

Step 2 -In a small saucepan heat the butter and garlic powder until melted and add herbs and season with salt. Set aside.

Chicken Schnitzel

Step 3 -Whisk the flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper and sugar together in a bowl and then place on a large rimmed plate. Then whisk the eggs and the mustard and place in a rimmed bowl. Place the breadcrumbs on a large rimmed plate.

Chicken Schnitzel
Dredging in seasoned breadcrumbs

Chicken Schnitzel
Dipping in egg and mustard

Chicken Schnitzel
Dredging in panko breadcrumbs

Step 4 -Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add half of the oil and butter. Dip the chicken breast into the seasoned flour, then dip into the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Cook for 3 minutes and then turn over and cook for 2 more minutes. I like to ensure that the frying pan isn't too hot or the schnitzel will be dark brown. Add more butter and oil and repeat with the other schnitzels. Serve straight away with a wedge of lemon, garlic butter, mashed potato, cucumber salad or red cabbage.

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel

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