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Monday, May 21, 2012

Thomas Keller’s Chicken Schnitzel


Chef Thomas Keller
           I was somewhat surprised to come across this recipe in Food and Wine magazine. It comes from the renowned Chef Thomas Keller of Bouchon Bakery, Per Se, Ad Hoc and The French Laundry fame.  He of the $375.00 tasting menu seems to have turned his attention to some $2.99 lb. boneless chicken breasts.  That said, what a wonderful dish this is!  It is crispy, crunchy chicken at its best.  The sauce is a perfect counterbalance with its lemon-y capers in butter drizzled over the top.  This takes all of 15 minutes from start to finish.  And let’s face it, it’s basically fried chicken – no matter what Chef Keller calls it -- and who doesn’t love Fried Chicken ?
Chef Keller's Chicken Schnitzel
as pictured in Food and Wine

             The secret here is the panko, the Japanese bread crumbs that beat all others when you want a really crunchy crust.  You can buy them virtually everywhere now.  Whole Foods even has a Whole Wheat version for the sanctimonious among us.  A word of caution:  This dish cooks so quickly, make sure whatever side dish you’ll serve with it is ready to plate once the chicken is done.  Chef Keller served his Chicken Schnitzel with a simple green salad.  I chose Sugar Snap Peas and added some greens.  But the star of the show is unquestionably the Schnitzel.  Try this one, it’s a keeper. Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Thomas Keller’s Chicken Schnitzel
       1 cup flour
       3 eggs, beaten
       2 cups panko
       4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each,   butterflied and pounded 1/4-inch-thick
       Salt and freshly ground pepper
       1/4 cup canola oil
       6 tablespoons butter
       2 teaspoons capers
       2 tablespoons lemon juice
       1 tablespoon chopped parsley


       Set the flour, eggs and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the eggs and coat thoroughly with the panko, pressing lightly to adhere.
       In each of 2 large skillets, heat 1/4 cup of canola oil. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.


       Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook over moderately high heat until browned and nutty, about 4 minutes. Stir in the capers, lemon juice and parsley; spoon over the chicken and serve.