We recently rediscovered schnitzel after eating a superlative version of it at new Downtown NYC hot spot Freud, where Austrian classics are served in a stylish setting.
Schnitzel is a dish in which the meat is pounded thin to tenderize it, then breaded and panfried. Though Wiener schnitzel originated in Austria with veal, the technique has diffused among cultures around the world with different types of meat, such as pork in delicious Japanese katsu. We use chicken for this schnitzel and pair it with fried briny capers and a squeeze of lemon. We like it best with warm potato salad and a cold beer, naturally.
We love the airy, crispiness of panko bread crumbs; here, we crush them, so the thick crust has a finer texture. Don’t obliterate them though: Be sure to leave a little texture in the panko for a pleasant crunch.
The chicken absorbs a lot of oil when frying, so we split up the canola oil to be added in two waves, allowing for the proper depth to cook the chicken and give it that nice, golden crust.
Chicken Schnitzel with Fried Capers
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
4 medium (1½ pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup canola oil, divided
¼ cup capers, drained
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. On a cutting board, lay out the chicken breasts and cover with plastic wrap. Using a mallet, pound until ½ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a food processor, pulse the panko bread crumbs into a coarse powder and transfer to a shallow dish. In 2 other shallow dishes, place the flour in one and the beaten eggs in the other. Working with 1 breast at a time, dredge in the flour mixture, followed by the egg then panko, making sure to coat each breast completely. Place on a plate until ready to fry.
3. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Heat ¼ cup of the canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the capers and cook, stirring often, until golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain. Then, working in batches and flipping once, fry each chicken cutlet until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain. Add the remaining ¼ cup of the canola oil after the second schnitzel is fried.
4. Divide the schnitzel between dishes and garnish with fried capers and chopped parsley, then serve with lemon wedges on the side.