This might be my favourite dish yet this summer. or at least my favourite chicken dish. I have a lot of favourites when it comes to food. And any way I can have chicken schnitzel in a healthier way is pretty damn exciting for me. This has all my favourite things about schnitzel: golden crispy exterior, succulent juicy chicken and great flavour. It has all these things with out being laden with oil from deep frying – yay.
Actually, there’s no frying at all – it’s baked! The parmesan slaw is the perfect fresh crunchy thing to have on the side. If you’re extra hungry you could have some steamed baby chat potatoes as well but I don’t think it’s super necessary. I was full after the schnitz and slaw, as was my housemate and he’s a dude.
The parmesan in the slaw adds a salty punch with the red wine vinegar adding some much needed acid notes then the cabbage and radish are all peppery and yum – my favourite kind of slaw!
I also love that this is one of those dishes you can whip up after work in less than an hour. Because you’re baking, rather than frying, the chicken you have 30 minutes up your sleeve to prepare your slaw, do any dishes you’ve created and pour yourself a glass of wine. The perfect situation right?
I don’t have any sauce with schnitzel but you could add a chutney like this chilli tomato one or a lighter version of mayo such as this chipotle mayo. As I said though, I’m a purist and just love a generous squeeze of lemon.
I used a wholemeal chia enriched bread for this. I’ve also used sourdough and spelt before and both work beautifully! If you’re gluten free, just use gluten free bread.
IMPORTANT TIP: If you don’t have buttermilk (or don’t want to buy one of those big cartons, AKA the only size it comes in, when you only need a cup) just do a home made cheat and add 1 Tbs vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk (almond milk works too if you’re lactose intolerant), stir and allow to sit for a couple of minutes. it will thicken up and curdle slightly and voila – you’ve got buttermilk!
2 Chicken breasts
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk (see above tip!)
6 slices wholegrain bread of choice (can use gluten free)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs sweet paprika
2 tsp oregano
4 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion
1 cup finely shredded kale
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
Lemon wedges to serve
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Set a wire rack inside a baking tray.
Butterfly each chicken breast and separate into two halves. To do this you will first need to remove the small inner fillet (set aside you will use this too), then carefully slice the breast in half widthwise (detailed instructions and images here). Place one butterflied breast between two sheets of parchment paper and use a mallet or pestle to lightly beat the chicken until it is of even thickness, you want it 1/2 cm thick approximately. Do the same with the reserved inner fillets.
Mix together the buttermilk, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a bowl and add the butterflied chicken breast and the small inner fillets. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes, while you prepare the crumb.
Use a food process to blitz the bread into bread crumbs. You can go as fine as you like, I tried it very fine and slightly coarser and both were fabulous. In a medium sized bowl mix through the paprika, salt and oregano.
Crumb your schnitzel: Take a piece of chicken and gently shake of excess buttermilk. Lay it in the crumbs and turn to coat, lightly pressing the crumbs into the chicken. Once well coated, transfer to your prepared wire rack and repeat.
Bake the schnitzel for 20-30 minutes (depending on how thing you got it!), test the smaller extra pieces at 20 minutes and if just cooked through give the bigger pieces a couple more minutes. Tip: It’s easy to remove from the wire rack if you use a metal fish slice.
While it bakes, make your slaw. Save time buy using a food process to chop all the ingredients! Heat a small pan on medium and toast the fennel seeds for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Place all prepared slaw ingredients in a big bowl and toss to combine.
Serve slaw and chicken together with the lemon wedge on the side. Yum!!!