Chicken

A One-Ingredient Hack for the Crispiest, Juiciest Chicken Schnitzel

September 17, 2018

The best chicken schnitzel is all about the crust. Or is it?

The German Cookbook by Alfons Schuhbeck—out on Sept. 24—boasts eight schnitzel recipes: breaded pork, celeriac, pork with mushroom sauce, pork with tomato and pepper sauce, stuffed, veal, veal with bell pepper sauce, and veal with cream sauce.

Key word being breaded, specifying a type of schnitzel, just like veal or pork. Wait, what? I assumed—and you know what they say about people who assume—that breaded was the default, but most of the recipes were simply pan-seared cutlets.

Photo by Julia Gartland

This makes sense when you backtrack schnitzel’s etymology: “borrowed from German Schnitzel, literally, ‘shaving, chip,’” according to Merriam-Webster. It defines schnitzel as “a seasoned and garnished veal cutlet.” Meanwhile, Oxford University Press defines it as “a thin slice of veal or other light meat, coated in breadcrumbs and fried.”

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This is how a lot of Americans know (and love) it. When I asked around the office, many of my coworkers made the same assumption as I did. In fact, my co–recipe developer Ella Quittner went so far as: “I’d be so mad if I ordered schnitzel and it wasn’t breaded.”

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Top Comment:
“I've also encountered a similar breading technique for schnitzel that forgoes the mayo and only uses prepared mustard, then flour (or bread crumbs--I use panko). I found this in Hans Gerlach's recipe for K.u.k. Schnitzel in his wonderful "Alpine Cookbook." I highly recommend the simple variation.”
— BakerBren
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Good news: This schnitzel is breaded—only, the breading isn’t what you’d expect.


WANT SOME POTATO SALAD WITH YOUR SCHNITZEL?

Many schnitzel recipes use the same method: Pound meat until thin. Dredge in flour. Dip in eggs and milk. Roll around in breadcrumbs. This one goes a different direction—skipping those first three ingredients and replacing it with another entirely: mayonnaise.

The fridge staple does double duty here. First, mixed with dijon mustard and salt, mayonnaise acts as a marinade, enriching and seasoning the meat, ensuring that the end result is juicy and flavorful. Second, it acts as a primer and binder, helping the breadcrumbs adhere. Just make sure that you wipe away any excess mayo before breading; if there’s too much, the crust won’t get as crispy.

And crispy crust is why we’re here, right?

How do you make breaded chicken cutlets? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

8 Comments

nancy E. October 27, 2018
What the heck F52? Why the annoying bar across the top[ of the page telling me what I am reading. I know what I am reading, I am reading it. Cut it out and quit being annoying<br />
 
Alex October 16, 2018
When living in Bavaria, I might order JaegerSchnitzel, it was never breaded, but always delicious anyway. It was often served with sauteed mushrooms and 'forest' herbs, since it is "hunter's"Schnitzel.
 
nancy S. October 1, 2018
I agree with BakerBren....just use Dijon mustard, then panko breadcrumbs...works perfectly every time. No need to mess about with egg and breadcrumbs....
 
Ishmael September 20, 2018
Schnitzel is made with either veal or pork. Chicken is just fried chicken, and that's fine if that is what you want. But chicken will never be schnitzel. I'm from Austria, I grew up with the stuff, I know the difference.
 
Lost_in_NYC September 18, 2018
This is similar to the "use mayo for even crisper grilled cheese sandwiches."
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 18, 2018
Yeah! My husband and I have a mayo vs. butter on grilled cheese debate...every time we make grilled cheese :)
 
BakerBren September 17, 2018
This is a great suggestion indeed and I look forward to browsing Mr. Schuhbeck's book as well as trying the recipe. I've also encountered a similar breading technique for schnitzel that forgoes the mayo and only uses prepared mustard, then flour (or bread crumbs--I use panko). I found this in Hans Gerlach's recipe for K.u.k. Schnitzel in his wonderful "Alpine Cookbook." I highly recommend the simple variation.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 17, 2018
Yum, thanks for sharing this! I do a similar method with pan-fried pork chops.