Wiener Schnitzel

This authentic Wiener schnitzel, simply breaded with flour, egg, and fine breadcrumbs, proves that fried food doesn't have to be heavy. Chef Ban will show you the secret to achieving an airy pocket of golden crust around the meat, which is the hallmark of a good schnitzel.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

3 cups plain breadcrumbs, for homemade, pulse stale bread in a food processor until fine

3 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 quart vegetable oil, plus more as needed, total amount may vary depending on size/shape of frying vessel

4 veal cutlets, about 1 lb (454 g) total

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Garnish

Lemon wedges

Flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Sift the breadcrumbs through a fine-mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl, and set aside. (Save the coarse crumbs in the strainer for another use.) In another large bowl, add the eggs and whisk to combine. In the third bowl, add the flour. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over high heat, add enough vegetable oil to reach a depth of 1 to 1½ inches. Clip a thermometer onto the pot and bring oil to 380 degrees F. Meanwhile, prepare the cutlets.
  2. Lightly oil one side of two freezer bags. Optional: Trim the veal cutlets to your desired size (Chef Ban uses pieces about 4 inches long). Place a cutlet between the oiled sides of the bags, then use the bottom of a heavy skillet (or a meat tenderizer) to pound the cutlets until they are of a uniform thickness, about ⅛ inch. Set flattened cutlet aside and repeat with remaining cutlets.
  3. Place the cutlets, evenly spaced, on a wire rack fitted into a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat first cutlet completely with flour; tap off excess flour. Next, dip the cutlet in the egg; gently wipe off excess egg. Finally, cover the cutlet with breadcrumbs until evenly and completely coated; gently shake off the excess breadcrumbs. Return cutlet to the wire rack, then repeat with remaining cutlets.
  4. Prepare another wire rack fitted into a rimmed baking sheet for the finished schnitzels. When the oil is at 380 degrees F, gently submerge the first cutlet in the oil. About 30 seconds later, when it floats to the surface, use a ladle to carefully and continually baste the top of the schnitzel with hot oil until the crust is golden and puffs up, about 3 minutes. (This basting action helps create a pocket of air between the meat and the crust—the hallmark of a good schnitzel.) After 3 minutes, flip and baste again, 2–3 more minutes. (Adjust heat as needed to keep temperature at 380 degrees F.) After a total of 5–6 minutes of cooking, schnitzel should be puffed and golden brown on both sides. Use a strainer to remove schnitzel and transfer to clean wire rack or a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Make sure the oil is at 380 degrees F before cooking the next cutlet. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
  5. Plate the Wiener schnitzel gently to avoid breaking the crust. Garnish with lemon wedges and a few leaves of parsley. Serve immediately.