Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel
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Growing up this was one of my favorite dinners to enjoy as a kid. What’s not to like about crumbed Chicken that is fried to a crispy golden finish? Absolutely nothing at all! The immensely popular Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel is a dish loved all around the world. A classic dish that originates from Austria, and popularized throughout the world by famous chefs such as Wolfgang Puck

The traditional Schnitzel is made with Veal, however the trend of breading and frying other kinds of proteins caught on fast, and soon enough the Chicken Schnitzel became a favorite! We’ve made a variation of this dish previously, albeit smothered with tomato sauce and Mozzarella Cheese in our classic Chicken Parmesan Recipe. However, for this dish, we’re stripping back all the toppings and keeping things simple

How to make a Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel

This is a remarkably easy dish to make at home yourself. There is really only three steps in the cooking process, and each is very easy to master:

  1. Pounding out the Chicken Breast
  2. Breading the Chicken
  3. Pan Frying in Oil

Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel delicious
You want a lovely, even thickness for the perfect Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel

1. Pounding out the Chicken Breast

A perfect Chicken Schnitzel comprises of a thin piece of Chicken that is battered with breadcrumbs and fried evenly all over. There are a few techniques to properly pound out a Chicken Schnitzel. If you have access to a meat tenderizer then you’re in business. Place the Chicken on a flat surface and cover with cling film. Then, gradually pound the thicker part of the chicken while pushing outwards slightly

This process will begin to flatten the Chicken and spread it out a little wider. We recommend only pounding the thicker section of the Chicken, and aim to have that part be as thin as the untouched thin part

If you don’t have a Meat Tenderizer, here are some other tools that will work well to pound the Chicken

Honestly, anything with a flat surface with a bit of weight to it will work well as a substitute. Cast Iron Skillets are a great alternative, as are any heavy bottom-based saucepans. You can also use a Rolling Pin, or even a wine bottle (to be transparent, that’s what we used for the photos in this recipe!). So long as you’ve got something heavy with a flat enough surface, you’ll be fine

2. Breading the Chicken

If you’ve stumbled across any of our fried recipes in this website in the past you’ll know we’re no strangers to setting up a classic breading station. To bread the Chicken, you need to fill three separate bowls with three separate mixtures. The first bowl contained seasoned All Purpose Flour, the second bowl, 2 whisked Eggs, and the third bowl is filled with Breadcrumbs

To bread your Chicken, place one piece at a time first in the Flour, then into the Egg Wash, and finally into the Breadcrumbs. Throughout every step you want to ensure a good, thick coating is added to the Chicken before moving onto the next step

To make this a little cleaner, we recommend using one hand for dry ingredients, and your other hand for the wet ingredients. This will not only make for a cleaner process, but helps with keeping the dry coating evenly on the Chicken, as wet hands aren’t breaking parts off

Chicken Schnitzel breadcrumbs
We recommend using Super Fine Breadcrumbs for an even, consistent coating of your Chicken Schnitzel

What are the best Breadcrumbs to use when making a Chicken Schnitzel?

We recommend using super-fine Breadcrumbs for our Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel. The reason being they will provide a much more even coat to the Chicken which will seal in the Chicken. This is important because when you add the Chicken to the hot oil, you don’t want any of that Oil getting inside the breading as this will create an oily result

The super-fine breadcrumbs are denser, so they’ll seal up that Chicken night and tight. While Panko breadcrumbs are another popular choice and add their own unique crunchy we would recommend against them. They are too large, so the chances of getting holes in your breading is high

3. Pan Frying the Chicken

This is really the easiest step in this recipe. Some people are a little intimidated by hot oil, which is understandable. As long as you respect the hot oil and use the right technique you have nothing to worry about

We are shallow frying in this recipe, which means that only a thin layer of Oil is added to a frying pan (about ¼ inch). It’s enough to get a great fry on the Chicken, but doesn’t waste a load of Oil like deep frying would

You’ll want to use about 1 ½ cups of neutral frying Oil, perhaps a little depending on the size of your pan. It’s important that the base is filled with Oil, and that at least half the Chicken will be submerged when it’s placed into the pan

For the type of Oil, any kind of neutral Oil with a high burn point is acceptable. Oils like Vegetable Oil, Canola Oil, or Sunflower Oil are all great choices for shallow frying and deep frying

Heat your pan filled with Oil over a medium / high heat until the temperature of the Oil reads 350F. You will need a meat thermometer to do this, and we highly recommend investing a couple of bucks in one. They’re well worth it. Once at temperature, add the Chicken and fry for about 4 – 5 minutes. Turn the Chicken and fry for a further 4 – 5 minutes on the other side. Once both sides are a dark golden-brown color and the internal temperature is 160F, take the Chicken off the heat and set aside to rest on a wire rack

The correct technique for adding the Chicken Schnitzel to the hot oil

Be careful when placing the Chicken into the Pan. The goal is to avoid any Oil splashing up as there’s a risk it may splash onto you. To do this correctly, hold the Chicken with your hand above the Oil. Place the bottom of it into the Oil. Then, slowly drop the Chicken into the Oil while rolling it away from you. Never release the Chicken until the entire piece is in the pan

By placing the Chicken away from you, any potential Oil that may splash up will splash away from you

When turning the Chicken to fry the other side, also do-so with care. I like to use tongs for this step. Pick up one end of the Chicken with tongs then slowly lift it. Then, repeat the process of placing it slowly into the Oil away from you

Always be safe and respect the Oil when cooking with it and you’ll be fine. In fact, you’ll be better than fine because you’ll have a delicious Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel to enjoy!

Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel is so versatile, plenty of side dishes will work great with it

There are loads of sides that taste great alongside this Chicken. You really can’t go wrong. So, depending on what flavor profiles you’re looking to pair with the Schnitzel will determine what you pair with it. For the photos in this recipe, we made our Chicken Schnitzel alongside a combination of oven roasted Fennel and Roast Potatoes

We were going for a classic winters feast, and there’s no more comforting way to prepare vegetable sides than giving them a good roast in the Oven. If you like the look of these sides then we highly recommend you whip them up to pair with the Chicken. Here’s a link to both recipes:

Chicken Schnitzel with Sides
There are so many sides that go well with a Chicken Schnitzel, you can’t go wrong!

Of course, another classic pairing with a Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel is an Authentic German Potato Salad (LINK). This must be the most traditional way to enjoy a Schnitzel, and also happens to be one of the tastiest. The classic German Potato Salad is a Mustard and Vinegar heavy dish, giving the Potatoes an amazing flavor. It’s an equally hearty meal as the Potato and Fennel combination, and one that you will thoroughly enjoy

For lighter options, you can’t beat a good side salad! We recommend pairing the dish with a salad that is high in acidity, which will contrast well with the rich, fattiness of the Fried Schnitzel. Here’s a few of our favorite salads that will pair great with this dish:

Recipe Details

Servings

2 people

Prep time

25 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes

Total time

35 minutes

Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • ½ cup Super-fine Breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Neutral Frying Oil (eg: Canola Oil / Vegetable Oil)
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Place a Chicken Breast on a flat surface and cover with cling film. Pound out the thick part of the Chicken using a blunt object (preferably a meat tenderizer, but a rolling pin or heavy-based pan will work). Pound while pressing outwards so that the thick part of the Chicken is now as thin as the thin part. Repeat for the second piece
  2. Create your breading station by filling three bowls. The first with AP Flour, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, and 1 tsp. of Salt. The second, add the Eggs then whisk to create an Egg Wash. The third, fill with the breadcrumbs and ½ tsp of Salt
  3. Season the Chicken with some Salt and Pepper then coat them in the Flour, then Egg wash, and finally the Breadcrumbs. Ensure they are well coated in each step before moving forward to the next
  4. Heat a large heavy-based pan filled with the Neutral Frying Oil over medium high heat until the Oil temperature reaches 350F
  5. Carefully place one breaded Chicken piece into the oil by slowly laying it away from you. Fry for 4 – 5 minutes then carefully flip and fry the other side for another 4 – 5 minutes. Once golden-brown and the internal temperature is 160F remove from Oil and set aside on a wire rack. Season immediately with Salt
  6. Repeat the process for the remaining piece(s) of Chicken, maintaining the consistent Oil temperature throughout
  7. Once the Chicken has rested for 5 minutes, serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

We hope you enjoy this Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel recipe. It’s a delicious and fun meal to make, and a great recipe for experimenting with some shallow frying techniques. We’ve got loads more delicious Chicken recipes on this website, so if you’re looking for more fun dishes there here are a few of our favorites:

Happy Cooking!

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