Photo: Quentin Bacon, retrieved from http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/panko-coated-chicken-schnitzel
Thomas Keller’s Panko Coated Chicken Schnitzel
Background: T is obsessed with Thomas Keller and even though we have not currently made it to “The French Laundry” in Yountville, CA yet, she is working her way through “The French Laundry Cookbook” with utter excitement and enthusiasm. We have never claimed to be chefs (even though T has seriously considered it) and we even included the word “amateur” in our subtitle, but we do have a passion for food and we have an incredible respect for the art of cooking and for the cooking profession. T was drooling over every minute of the news coverage of the Bocuse d’Or these past 2 days and we want to say Congratulations to team USA for 7th place (France took 1st).
“The French Laundry” cookbook is an extremely difficult cookbook for the novice cook and we recommend that you first try, “Ad Hoc At Home”, this is Thomas Keller’s cookbook for the home cook. The recipes are delicious and much more simple but they still have that technical/perfectionist edge that all of Keller’s recipes have.
In our previous post, “Absolut Cherrykran”, T discussed how she was trying to think of something simple (to be prepared quickly) to make for M before she arrived after her long snowy drive. Randomly looking at recipes, T came across this recipe from Food & Wine Online: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/panko-coated-chicken-schnitzel It was contributed by Thomas Keller, so she had to give it a try.
Now, so you know, M makes the best chicken schnitzel I have ever had. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Maybe someday she will share her recipe with you, if you ask nicely. So, for me to even attempt this recipe, it had to be a Thomas Keller one.
For Four servings (One chicken breast butterflied; creating two pieces for each person):
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.
Verdict: Be careful with the lemon! There was only two of us, so I cut this recipe in half, making 2 breasts butterflied. While reading the recipe, I already had thought that I should watch the lemon and I didn’t put a full tablespoon in, preferring to squeeze a little fresh lemon on the schnitzel also. After tasting, I decided to add a splash of white wine to the sauce and let it reduce. This is totally a taste preference but that sauce was addicting after that addition for us. After tasting the schnitzel, it was great but I decided to add a little freshly grated good quality parmiggiano reggiano to the top (I’m Italian, I can’t help it). This kicked up the flavor nicely.
M loved it! She normally isn’t the “ask for seconds” kind of girl, but she ate every bite of both pieces. I took this as quite the compliment! Also, we are not normally caper fans but the capers added a wonderful briny flavor that we really thought kicked up the sauce to the next level. We paired it with mashed potatoes (M can’t get enough of mashed potatoes) and a fresh salad for me. This is going in the recipe box and even though it doesn’t compare to M’s schnitzel for me, it is a simple and quick recipe that tastes of restaurant quality. We will definitely be having this again.
Suggestions: As a matter of preference, taste the sauce at all stages and be careful with that lemon. It could quickly become very overpowering. We know it’s traditional to be served with a fresh lemon wedge and then the person can drizzle on as for their own taste preference but when making the sauce, you don’t want to have to start over. We suggest adding a little and tasting as you go, it can always be served with a lemon wedge as well. We really enjoyed it with a little freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano. Try it without and with it and let us know which you preferred. For this Italian girl, you can never go wrong with some parmiggiano reggiano.
Let us know, if there are any Thomas Keller recipes that you love or any you would like us to review. We will take pictures of all of our attempts at recipes from now on, this was just made prior to the start of the blog. You can leave a comment below or email us at: email@example.com
~T & M
Amazon links for Thomas Keller’s Cookbooks that we mentioned:
The French Laundry Cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/French-Laundry-Cookbook-Thomas-Keller/dp/1579651267