Tag Archives: German

Weiner Schnitzel

17 Apr

D (my son) and R have a favourite food for Saturday nights if we are at home or for Friday nights if its a movie night! The dish may well explain our more than generous proportions, well technically should explain their proportions since I am a vegetarian, but thsi is sympathetic expansion, since I am the one doing the cooking 🙂 

Weiner schnitzel from Germany, one of his favourites that R devoured on our travels across the Continent, and gorged himself sick on in Austria! No let me correct that, I felt sick at the end of it, R can put away a decent amount of meat when he wants to! While the dish is very popular in Germany, being a staple on all restaurant menus, the origins of the dish actually go back to the 7th century Byzantine Empire.

The story oft told is that the Kaiser Basileios I (867-886AD) preferred his meat covered with sheets / foil of gold. And what he liked soon became popular with the wealthy (sounds familiar?)! But, alas, even for the wealthy, this practice became too taxing on the wallet, so a substitute was settled upon – “yellow gold” (golden fried bread crumbs). Indigestion and gold poisoning might have been a more reasonable explanation but where’s the romance in that eh?

While technically a Weiner Schnitzel is a breaded veal cutlet, German restaurants serve other different versions depending on the meat.

Schweine-Schnitzel A breaded pork cutlet. These are usually made with thin pork loin cutlets (also known as Scaloppini).

Puten-Schnitzel A breaded slice of turkey breast. Lower in fat and a milder taste than the veal and pork schnitzels.

Hänchen-Schnitzel A breaded, boneless, skinless breast of chicken. Lower in fat and a milder taste than the veal and pork schnitzels

The family favourite is the chicken, cos it’s the least harmful (read red meat) of the three and I just can’t seem to get my veal right! Yes R, I am painfully aware that I don’t!! 🙂

Ingredients
1 large chicken breast
4 tbsp of plain flour (maida) with 1/4 tsp each  salt and pepper
1 egg beaten along with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper
2 cups of finely crushed fresh bread crumbs
Oil for frying

3 plates

Method
Keep the chicken breast on a chopping board and using a really sharp knife slice it into 3-4 slices. If the slices are thick, pound them with a meat mallet to thin them out. The difference between fried chicken and a chicken schnitzel is essentially the thinness of the meat.

Put the three plates side by side. In one, place the flour, in the second the egg and in the third unseasoned fresh bread crumbs.

Take one sliced breast piece of chicken, dredge it in the flour so that it is completely coated.

Then dip it in the egg wash….

…. and then crumb it. Do not press the bread crumbs too hard. Once coated with crumb, lift the chicken piece and then shake a little to brush off the excess bread crumbs.

Now they are ready to fry! Keep this in the fridge till you are ready to fry. I find that the schnitzels, kept like this in the fridge keep for two days. After that you need to junk them!

Deep fry in oil, till golden brown (the chicken gets cooked anyways cos the slices are really thin.

Serve with mushrooms in a creamy sauce, mashed potatoes and a wedge of lemon!

Bon Appétit!