My insatiable wanderlust helps me expand my culinary repertoire. I love exploring a new culture by immersing myself in its cuisine. Whenever I visit a new country, I try to eat my way through it. Given the short duration of our trips, despite all the gorging I always come home yearning for more of that food. That’s when I get in my kitchen and recreate my travel favourites, often with my own twist.
On a recent trip to Munich I devoured some really delicious Schnitzels. A schnitzel is meat (can be veal, pork, chicken, mutton, turkey or reindeer), usually thinned by pounding with a meat tenderizer. It is most commonly coated with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fried in oil or fat. It originated in Austria, but is found on menus all across Germany.
My schnitzel recipe is a fusion one inspired also by the second part of our holiday, which was our annual trip to the US. Every time we visit the US, we make up for the lack of Mexican food in India, by visiting every taco truck we can find. My Mexican Chicken Schnitzel recipe amalgamates Mexican flavours with a classic schnitzel recipe. The breading is seasoned with paprika, jalapenos, cilantro and cheese. This Schnitzel is cooked in a little olive oil, instead of the excess oil often found in Schnitzels. It’s served with a classic Mexican Pico de Gallo (salsa fresca) to give it a light and bright finish.
This delicious, wholesome recipe is perfect for a week night dinner. It requires minimum preparation and comes together beautifully in under thirty minutes. So go ahead and try this ode to two countries in one perfect plate!
Mexican Chicken Schnitzel Recipe
Yield: 2 servings
Time: 30 minutes
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, washed and dried
1 tablespoon milk
¾ cup Breadcrumbs (homemade or store bought) or panko
¼ cup cheddar, Monterey or pepper jack cheese
¼ cup red onion, minced
½ tablespoon jalapeno, seeded and diced
¼ teaspoon paprika powder
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of cooking olive oil
Pico de Gallo Ingredients:
2 ripe red tomatoes, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
½ – 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt to taste
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of food safe cling wrap. Use a meat pounder or a mallet to pound out the chicken breasts, until they are less than a ¼ inch thick.
- In a shallow dish mix together the breadcrumbs along with the cheese, red onion, jalapeno, paprika powder and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and taste the mixture. Remember this is the only flavour being added to the chicken, so it should be well seasoned.
- In a shallow dish beat the egg along with the milk and set aside. This is your egg wash.
- Heat the olive oil on medium high heat in a non-stick skillet.
- Set up a breading station – shallow dish with the flour, followed by the egg wash, followed by the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Now take one chicken breast and lightly coat it the flour. Dust off the excess flour. Then coat it in the egg wash and let the excess egg wash drip off. Finally coat the chicken breast with the breadcrumbs mixture. Ensure it’s well coated all over with the breadcrumbs.
- Place the chicken breast in the pan and repeat the process with the next chicken breast. Cook them both for 2-3 minutes on each side till the outside is golden brown and crispy and the chicken is white on the inside. Since the chicken is very thin it cooks up quickly, so be careful not to overcook it. Drain the excess oil off the chicken breasts on a paper towel.
- While the chicken is cooking mix together all the pico de gallo ingredients and set aside.
- Plate the hot chicken along with the pico de gallo and serve immediately.