Schnitzel: Israeli Cutlets
The ultimate comfort food. By Adeena Sussman
In Israel you’ll find a wide variety of schnitzel, adapted to adhere to familial or ethnic traditions and tastes. I like mine a bit spicy and add sesame seeds for a subtle nuttiness. I also prefer a coating of bread crumbs, which provide a crisper crust than matzah meal, which is denser and absorbs more oil.
The spices here are only a recommendation–it’s fun to adjust the herbs to your liking. The smaller tenders make a great snack for kids, and any leftover schnitzel is superb as a day-after sandwich, stuffed into a pita with some salad and a drizzle of tahini.
Serves 3 to 4 (depending on your appetite).
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken or turkey breast (about 6 breasts), split and trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup oil for frying
Combine the salt, black pepper, bread crumbs, sesame seeds, paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder/cayenne in a Ziploc bag and shake to combine.
Transfer to a shallow pie plate or other similar dish. Reserve.
Trim tenders from chicken and reserve. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
Place breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a mallet to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.
Dredge cutlets and tenders in flour, then egg, then bread crumb mixture.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet until hot but not smoking.
Working in batches, lay 2 cutlets in pan and fry until underside is golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes.
Flip and fry an additional 2-3 minutes.
Drain on paper towels, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.
Adeena Sussman is a food writer and chef based in New York. She writes the bimonthly food column “Season to Taste” for Hadassah Magazine.