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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicken Schnitzel and Potato Apple Gratin

My husband is a German professor, and so that means that German and Austrian food does make it to our table every once in a while. We often host an end-of-term party for students at our house, which includes feeding all of the students who come. We usually have 30-50 students, and so we've had to figure out ways to feed them German-like food inexpensively and en masse. One of our most popular dishes is "Chicken Schnitzel Fingers." We found that if we cut the chicken breasts into "fingers," they would last longer for a larger crowd. The other nice thing about this dish is that they keep warm well in a low oven. We start making them ahead of time and put them onto baking sheets and into the oven when we're ready to serve them. It only takes a few minutes to reheat and the oil left in the bread crumbs crisps them right up again.

This has become a go-to meal for us since we always have some chicken breasts, bread, and a leftover egg or two. I usually don't make them into "fingers" when it's just family, but either way is tasty. It's especially good with a squirt of lemon right before eating...

Chicken Schnitzel
Text-Only Version

3 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
1-2 eggs, whisked
1/2-1 cup bread crumbs (fresh work better, but the store-bought ones work fine too)
Canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1 lemon, sliced into wedges

Place the chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag and pound to about 1/4-1/2" thickness. (If you don't have a meat tenderizer for this, go ahead and use a hammer.) Remove them from the bag and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan on medium-high heat. The oil should be about enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Place the flour, whisked eggs, and bread crumbs into three separate shallow bowls. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, shaking off excess flour. Then dip them in the egg mixture, removing excess egg, and then dredge in the bread crumbs.

When the butter is sizzling, place the chicken in the oil and let brown on one side. (Do not place more than three breasts in at a time as this will cool the oil.) Once the first side is browned (about 3-5 minutes), turn over and let the other side brown (about 3 minutes more).

Remove the chicken to a paper towel covered plate to drain excess oil. Serve immediately with a slice of lemon.
Lately, I've been serving this with a Potato Apple Gratin...which I'll talk about in my next post! Chicken schnitzel is especially good served with a warm German potato salad, but that post will have to wait until a later date.


Laura in Paris February 26, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

What's the real meat you use for Schnitzel? Pork? Veal?

Lori February 26, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

You've got me longing for German food. We decided to add a trip back to Vienna into our Europe trip this summer so I'll fill up then. ;)

Can't wait to see the Potato Apple Gratin. Yum!

Mindy March 1, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

Laura--It depends on where you are and what you're looking for. In Vienna, you can find pork just as often as you can find veal, and there is usually a poultry version (usually turkey) on the menu as well. In the rest of the German-speaking world, it's usually veal, though. I've had all three and they're all yummy!

Lori--I love Vienna! I've spent a lot of time there in the last few years because my husband writes a lot on a Viennese author. We're hoping to head there as well sometime this spring or summer. Let me know if you'd like some restaurant and/or tourist suggestions...my husband lived there for a year on a Fulbright, so knows a lot about the city.

Mom March 15, 2009 at 10:02 PM  

I made your Chicken Schnitzel and Potato Apple Aratin and it was amazing!! I thought Dad might turn his nose up at the potato dish once he saw me cutting up the apples, but he really liked it! Four thumbs up from this house!!
Love, Mom

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