Bread and fry thin chicken cutlets to bring a platter of traditional Chicken Schnitzel to the table in just 25 minutes. Like supersized chicken nuggets, this classic German dinner recipe is a supremely family-friendly meal!
Prepare a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet, and line a plate with a triple layer of paper towels. Place bread crumbs in a large shallow dish. Spread flour in a second large shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, beat together eggs and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place chicken between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness, between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bread the cutlets one at a time by first dredging thoroughly in flour and shaking off excess flour. Next coat with egg mixture, and allow excess to drip back into dish. Coat cutlet evenly with bread crumbs, pressing crumbs to ensure they adhere to the cutlet. Place cutlets on prepared wire rack and allow coating to dry, about 5 minutes.
In a large Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 cups vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Lay 2 cutlets into the oil without overlapping and cook, moving cutlets continuously and gently until wrinkled and light golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Transfer to prepared paper-lined plate. Flip and blot cutlets several times to remove excess oil. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon slices.
Bread crumbs: Light and fluffy, extra-crispy panko is a form of Japanese bread crumb. Find it in boxes or canisters at most major grocery stores or Asian markets. If you prefer to make your own fried bread crumbs,
To a food processor, add torn bread pieces (work in batches if necessary). Pulse 3 or 4 times to break up the bread, then let the machine run for a few seconds for coarse crumbs.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add ground bread crumbs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry and toasted, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how finely they are ground.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil until shimmering (or butter until foaming). Use 1 tablespoon of fat per 1 cup of crumbs. Add ground bread crumbs and stir until golden and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Chicken: Can't find cutlets? Start with regular chicken breasts and simply butterfly the chicken so it's thinner (and has more surface area to coat with panko!).
Yield: This Chicken Schnitzel recipe makes four (5-ounce) portions; each serving is enough for one adult entree portion.
Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Make ahead:The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven.
Tools of the trade: A meat tenderizer can make quick work out of pounding the chicken breasts into thin cutlets. A sturdy skillet will also do the trick. (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through these links).