Pan-fried breaded veal (or pork or chicken or turkey) is one of the most universal dishes, with a skrillion variations - baked with bechamel in England, served cordon bleu-style in Hungary, accompanied by ketchup in Israel and gravy in Sweden. But the best schnitzel is the original schnitzel, credit for which is contested between Milan ('cotoletta alla milanese') and Vienna ('wiener schnitzel'), which relies on the clean simplicity of fresh lemon juice. My own variation, while keeping the lemon, jazzes things up a bit with the addition of herbs and grated parmesan to the breading.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (6-8 ounces each)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, unflavored
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose white flour
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sage
- ground black pepper
- Place chicken filets between two sheets of wax paper and pound with meat mallet to a thickness of about 1/4 inch (or until it becomes too wide for the skillet you'll be using) - the thinner the better.
- Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs and salt and spread evenly on a large platter.
- Dredge filets first in the flour, then through the egg, which has been beaten with the milk.
- Coat filets with breadcrumb mixture, pressing down to really embed it into the meat.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to frying temperature (medium-high flame).
- Cook 1 filet at a time, about a minute each side or until golden and crispy.
- Season with ground black pepper and sprinkle generously with fresh lemon juice.
- Note: turkey, pork tenderloin, veal, even beef can be substituted; the key is that the meat be pounded very thin, otherwise it spends too much time in the oil.