A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet an international student at our school. She is one of those people who as soon as you meet them you know you want to be friends. I began asking her about her country, Austria, as well as some foods that she really loves. As soon as I asked about food, she got so excited!
I love how food can bring all kinds of people together. We all like to eat and we all have special foods that we love. Sharing a dish that reminds us of home is a great way to build a connection with someone. So anyway, she began explaining to me how Schnitzel is basically an Austrian comfort food and how she loved eating it with family and friends. As she spoke, I kept thinking about how traditional foods of different countries can really show a piece of their culture and what the people are like. As she spoke about schnitzel, she explained that you must be gentle with the chicken and the breading. You must gently work the breading onto the chicken, but if it doesn’t stick, don’t force it. The excess will only fall off and burn in the oil. Even this simple technique reveals a gentle side of Austrian culture that we do not typically think of.
Schnitzel was originally created in Vienna, Austria, and has since spread around Europe as a popular dish. The first known mention of Schnitzel in a cookbook was back in 1831! So let’s celebrate the history and tradition of Schnitzel together, it may even change your life! When I served it up to my husband, he basically said, “Where has this been all my life” and “We need to have this every week from now on!” I do not think you can get much better than that!
For printable instructions, click here.
2 chicken breasts (cut into 1/4-1/2 inch thin slices- long-ways)
1/2 cup milk
Original bread crumbs (no added flavors)
Canola oil or other good frying oil
Cut the chicken breasts longways into thin slices.
Prepare three bowls. The first with flour, second with the egg and milk mixture (whisk together), and the third with the salt and breadcrumbs.
Gently flour the chicken, then cover in the egg and milk mixture, and lastly coat in bread crumbs. Do not force the bread crumbs on the chicken. If it does not stick, leave it alone. The excess will only fall off and burn in the oil. Continue coating the chicken until all pieces are coated.
Heat 1/2 inch frying oil in pan on medium heat. A cast iron pan will work really well for this, but any other pan will work as well. Place one piece of chicken in the heated oil and let cook until golden brown. Flip and continue cooking. Make sure you allow time for the chicken to cook through. This is why you do not want the oil to be too hot.
Continue cooking, piece by piece. This will take up to 20 minutes, depending on how many pieces of chicken you have.
Serve warm with fries, rice or Austrian potato salad.