In Israel, schnitzels, all things resembling a schnitzel and basically anything that’s breaded and pan-fried are right there at the top alongside hummus and other favorite dishes. The real Viennese schnitzel is made from thin slices of veal tenderloin. In Israel, it is made of chicken or turkey breast – an invention born out of necessity, when veal was nonexistent and poultry was government-subsidized and more readily available (frozen chicken is still subsidized today).
Many years later, the quantity and variety of schnitzels cut, manufactured and sold in Israeli butcher shops and supermarkets and consumed in households, fast-food eateries and restaurants is simply staggering. More often than not, consumers shopping for fresh poultry will ask their butcher to “quarter it and slice the breast for schnitzel”.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 portions of chicken breast, pounded flat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs (preferably fresh)
Oil for frying
Beat the eggs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons water and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the flour and breadcrumbs in separate dishes, suitable for dipping and breading. Dip the pieces of chicken in flour, shake off the excess flour, dip in the beaten egg and finally dip in the breadcrumbs and press together firmly to ensure good adhesion and form a uniform coating of breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil to a medium-high temperature in a heavy frying pan. The level of the oil should be one half the thickness of the schnitzels.
Fry the schnitzels 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove from the oil and set on paper towels. Serve promptly with lemon wedges.
Add 1 tsp of Dijon mustard to the beaten eggs
Add 1-2 tbsps of grated lemon rind to the breadcrumbs
Add 1-2 tbsps sesame seeds to the breadcrumbs
Marinate chicken slices (for 2-3 hours) in a mixture of olive oil, crushed garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano etc.)
photo: Michal Lehnart