Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wiener Schnitzel (Breaded Cutlets)

The original Viennese "Wiener Schnitzel"  was always made from veal cutlets and no other meat, and for me they are still the best. But schnitzels are also good when made of pork, chicken or turkey breast. The important thing is to ensure that the boneless meat has been thinned and tenderized with a mallet before coating and cooking. Serve with Spaetzle, boiled potatoes or—best—parslied potatoes (see below). If making the parslied potatoes, you will want to begin making them before frying the tenderized cutlets. 

(Serves four)

4 veal cutlets, trimmed of any excess fat
Kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
Flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
Plain breadcrumbs (for breading)
Vegetable or peanut oil (for frying)
1 lemon, cut into slices or wedges
Fresh parsley, chopped


Put a cutlet down on a solid surface and then cover it with a double layer of plastic wrap. Using a wide mallet or a heavy-bottomed pan, pound the meat evenly until it is about 1/8″ thick all around. Repeat with the other pieces. Salt and pepper the cutlets and then dust them with flour. Dip a cutlet into the egg, making sure you evenly coat both sides, and then put it in the breadcrumbs. Turn it over to bread the other side with the crumbs. Hand-press the breadcrumbs into the meat, getting an even coating of breadcrumbs with no “bald spots.” Repeat with the rest of the cutlets.

In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat about 1/8″ of oil until hot. (You can test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping a breadcrumb into the oil—it should sizzle and float to the top quickly.) Fry one or two cutlets at a time (depending on the size of your cutlets and pan). Wait until you see the edges turn golden; then, using tongs, gently flip it over and fry until the other side is golden. While the cutlets are frying, get a plate or wire rack with three layers of paper towels ready. As they finish, transfer the cooked cutlets to the paper towel–lined plate to soak up any excess oil.

To serve, plate the cutlets and garnish with lemon slices or wedges and parsley.

To make parslied potatoes, boil baby Yukon Golds, washed but still in their skins. When fully cooked, take them out of the water and allow them to reach room temperature. Before frying the cutlets, pull off the potato skins. While the cutlets are frying, melt some butter in a separate pan and warm the potatoes in the butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.

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