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Chicken Schnitzel - How To Make it Perfectly
Schnitzel - What is it?
First let me explain what a Schnitzel is, it is purely a cut of meat,without a bone, invariable crumbed, by tradition, it is either pork or chicken. If you feel the desire to do this with beef, ostrich, fish, or even venison, just go right ahead, after all it is your kitchen and you know what the family like and will eat.
So now we have explained the term, by the way, its origin is in that Central area around Germany, Austria and Switzerland, each with their own national twists.
The first time I came across this actulally being made was when I went to a school friends house way back when I was 12 or so. I was invited for lunch by a good friend of mine for lunch after school. We finished school at halfpast twelve on a Wednesday.
We arrived at his house, Grandma welcomed me, and said thatbefore lunch would be served, I must do my homework, and keep myself occupied while they had there music homework to do.
I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water, and there was their cook, busy preparing the lunch, so once again fascinated by my forte, cooking. a carefully made a mental note as she prepared the veal schnitzels. She parted a few tips and pointers to me both on what she was doing and why.
These tips I use today and impart them as i write this recipe.
Wash The Breasts
Purchase the number of skinless deboned chicken breasts, these must be firm and fairly plump, for best results.
First trim off any unwanted bits of membrane and fat, as the breasts should be as lean as possible. After washing the breasts place them on a cutting board and pat dry with a clean cloth or a piece of roller towel.
Sometimes, if for economy, you have purchase pre-packed breasts, you may end up with odd bits, So what to do with some of the funny bits that invariable come with a pack of breast,
These you will also crumb, without trying to butterfly them, and use as a garnish on the plate, or serve it up to the juniors of the family.
If you make this meal often, you can collect all those bits, crumb cook and store them till you have a substantial amount of them,
Then make a meal of them, with hot potato wedges, by simply removing them from the freezer and pop them in the oven, to reheat through. There is another budget saving meal.
Keep those end bits and pieces, uncooked untill you have enough, and do your Friday night Pizza evening, with them, by a quick stir fry with a touch of garlic and your favourite spices.
The Next Step
First of all you need to ascertain if you have a full set of breasts in one piece or individual breasts. Yes poultry does indeed have two breasts, they are joined together at the breast bone. This is the thinner edge of the breast.
To start with place your chicken breasts on the cutting board with the thinnest edge facing away from you, that means that the thick part of the breast is facing towards your cutting hand.
Place your blade in the centre part of the flesh and make a deep incision along the length of the breast.
Open the flap of meat wide and make another deep incision along the same line. Take care to angle the cut slightly , as you are slicing through from a thick area to a thin area.
The Breast is now Butterflied
Continue to all the breasts have been butterflied. Place them into a refrigerator so that the breasts have time to rest, and chill. While you start to prepare for the crumbing process.
The colder and clammier they are they better, as the crumbs will then adhere to the breasts, more evenly.
Preparation for the Crumbing Process
The crumbs can be shop bought, or you can simply make your own with left over bread, and rolls, that are kept to dry out and become your crumbs.
Keep the bread in an airtight container and every time you have finished with the oven of the stove, and it has been switched off. Place the bread or rolls from your keep on a dry baking tray and leave until the oven has cooled down.
Once the bread etc., has cooled down place in the keep, repeat until your bread is totally dried out. Ovyen dry some fresh herbs, I usually use fresh Rosemary and Italian Parsley for this purpose.
Place the dried bread, herbs into a blender, and chop until very fine.
There is your seasoned crumbs, ready for use.
Crumbing of the Meat
I changed to Pork chops for showing you the process, as the are larger, and therefore a bit more visible.
The Dishes containing the Crumbing Ingredients are all Set Up
You will need 3 dishes which are wide enough to hold the ingredients, and allow you to work im them.
Such baking or baine marie dishes.
The first dish contains fresh flour.
Place the second dish next to it this contains egg and milk mixture.
Place the third dish next to the egg mixture this contains the seasoned crumbs, add a pinch of salt and pepper to it.
Finally you will need a plate to hold your coated meat.
Carefully coat the meat, all over with the flour.
Transfer to the crumbs.
Cover lightly with crumbs on all sides.
Then using a very firm hand press the crumbs into the meat, on both sides, this will not only help the crumbs stick during the cooking process, it also tenderises the meat.
You will notice that the crumbed meat is now flatter and larger.
Set aside the crumbed meat on a clean plate in the refrigerator,and continue to finish crumbing all the meat you are going to cook.
This allows the meat to rest, and draw in the flavour from the crumbs.
- 1 breast per serving Bone & Skinless Chicken Breast, Butterflied - as per potographs
- 2 Cups Flour, plain baking white flour
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup Milk, Egg & milk beaten together
- 1 1/2 Cup Fine Breadcrums, Seasoned
Now all crumbed - The Final Stage
Heat up an electric fryer to medium to high, with sufficient oil to deep fry the meat. Or if you have one a deep fryer, set to 125 degrees Celsius.
Once the oil is ready, place the meat inti the hot oil, as soon as the meat rises to the surface, turn it over.
Place the next piece of meat in and let it cook away until it rises, then remove the first piece, place it in a plate on some roller towel to absorb the excess oil. Turn over the second piece, and continue till all the meat is cooked.
Place the cooked meat on a hot tray and serve while hot.