To bash or not to bash the hell out of the chicken? I’ve tried both ways and I think that a very light bashing works the best with chicken to get the perfect schnitzel. If the chicken is too thin then it makes for a dry schnitzel, too thick and it’s lost the point of being a schnitzel!
Some boiled new potatoes with lots of melted butter goes perfectly with the schnitzel and salad and that’s all you need for a lovely dinner.
Chicken schnitzel on a green lettuce and herb salad
Schnitzel 2 x chicken breasts, skinless and boneless 100g panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
Extra virgin olive oil for frying
Green soft lettuce, washed and torn into large pieces
2 spring onions, finely sliced
10g parsley leaves
10g tarragon leaves
5g chives (and their flowers if you have a pot growing in your garden!)
Extra virgin olive oil
Method Place a medium frying pan on a low heat to start warming while you prepare the schnitzel.
Lay the chicken breast on a wooden board and with a sharp knife, cut in half through the middle to create 2 pieces of chicken fillet. Do the same with the other breast. Use a meat tenderiser or a rolling pin to lightly bash the thick end of the chicken fillet – you’re trying to even out the thickness at both ends of the fillet, but don’t bash to much as you want the fillet to stay fairly thick.
Set up a line of bowls with the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs along your kitchen counter to create the schnitzels. Take the chicken fillet, sprinkle with a little salt and lay it in the flour on both sides, pressing lightly with your finger tips so all the meat is covered. Shake any excess flour back onto the plate.
Next, slide the floured chicken into the beaten egg and make sure both sides are covered in egg.
Finally, lay the chicken in the breadcrumbs. Crumb both sides and press down with your finger tips to get a much breadcrumb stuck onto both sides. Place the breaded schnitzel onto a fresh plate and repeat the process with the other chicken fillets.
The dry frying pan should be very hot by now. Turn the heat up to high. Pour in the oil so it is about 1cm deep and leave to heat through for a minute.
Carefully slide in just one schnitzel, if the oil is hot enough you will hear that wonderful crackling, popping sound as the breadcrumbs sizzle in the pan. Add the other schnitzels to the pan if there is enough space, otherwise fry in batches. Leave to fry for 3 minutes and then using long handled tongs, turn the schnitzel over to fry on the other side for 3 minutes. The schnitzel is ready when the breadcrumbs turn a light golden colour.
Place the schnitzel on a plate that has a few sheets of kitchen paper to absorb any oil.
Lay the torn green lettuce leaves on a big plate, scatter the spring onion slices and fresh herbs. Drizzle the salad with olive oil, a few squeezes of lemon juice and a little sea salt. Lay the chicken schnitzel on the salad and serve.
Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking 20 minutes, 2 adult portions, 2 children portions