Cook: Chicken Schnitzel
One of the downsides of cooking mostly for one is that you always end up with stale bread. Always. Even when I buy the tiny half loaves at the bakery, I still end up with stale bread. Even the best bread, I still can’t finish in time. As a result, my freezer is packed with tiny freezer bags of bread crumbs, which is why I have become so good at crumbing food stuffs. (Always keep breadcrumbs in the freezer, even if they’re store bought.)
I reckon nothing is better at the end of a working week than a schnitty at the pub, but when you’re feeling a bit skint and it’s far too cold out to venture to even your closest watering hole, why not whip up your own schnitzel at home? You can then eat it while doing your best impersonation of a human burrito, promise no one will judge, not in this weather!
It’s so simple that I didn’t realise that so many people I knew had no idea how to crumb a piece of meat (or whatever else you want to crumb, mushrooms are delicious cooked this way), so today I’m going to let you in on the secrets of schintzelling. They’re really not even secrets and I’ll bet you probably already have everything you need, so run, don’t walk, to the kitchen!
Crumbing is super easy, it’s three ingredients, but there’s no limit to what you can add to the third ingredient (the bread crumbs), I’ve been known to throw in basil, parsley, parmesan cheese (grated on a microplane), lemon zest (also on the microplane), ground spices and even a little chilli. It’s really hard to screw it up, as long as they’re chopped finely.
So how do you get in on the crumbing action?
- 1 chicken breast, sliced lengthways into 2-3 thin pieces (depending on how big the breast is)
- Handful of plain flour
- 1 egg, whisked
- Handful or two of bread crumbs
- Salt & pepper
- Anything you want to add into the bread crumbs (suggestions above)
- Olive oil
- Take two plates, pile the flour on one and the bread crumbs on the other, season each with salt and pepper
- Whisk the egg into a bowl, season the egg and whisk further
- Take the chicken, coat it in the flour then, using your other hand, dip it in the egg, coat and then drop into the bread crumbs. Use your first hand (the non-eggy one) to coat it in the bread crumbs – this way you only get one eggy hand
- Place a frying pan on a medium heat and heat a couple tablespoons of the oil, test the oil is hot by throwing in some of the left over bread crumbs
- Place the chicken in the oil and fry on both sides until cooked through. It’s important to do this on a medium heat because otherwise the crumbs burn on the outside while the chicken is still pink pink pink!