Considering my German heritage, one might think I’m a schnitzel expert. My Oma in Germany was an amazing home cook, making roasts that fell off the bone and bakery quality yeast kuchen with plums, apples, or my favorite, schmandt. But she never made schnitzel.
And neither did my Mom. For her, she avoided fried foods for health reasons. So, when I was invited to try Seven Hens’ new location in Sandy Springs, I was sufficiently curious, having been deprived of schnitzel my whole life. A writer friend and I met there for lunch to learn how to make schnitzel from the owner Michael Gurevich.
He led us to the kitchen where we put on gloves and learned the method for pounding a chicken breast, which tenderizes the meat and creates a uniform thickness so it cooks quickly and evenly. In the world of processed poultry, the birds are pumped full of hormones to achieve meatier chickens. If you are accustomed to purchasing plump chicken breasts at your local grocery store, chances are they are as fake as Pamela Anderson’s. At Seven Hens, Gurevich only uses organic, hormone-free chickens from local producer Mar-Jac Poultry in Gainesville.
After the breast is pounded thin, it’s dredged in flour, dipped in egg, then coated with Gurevich’s secret mix of bread crumbs, seasonings, and sesame seeds before taking a two minute hot oil bath. Once the schnitzel is fried to a crispy, golden brown, the kitchen staff seasons it with your choice of spices.
There are seven flavors offered, hence the name Seven Hens. Of course there is a German-inspired schnitzel with sauerkraut and dill sauce, but I chose the chipotle cilantro accompanied by housemade chipotle aioli and a zesty cilantro mojo. My schnitzel was dusted with the spicy Mexican seasoning mix, then cut with a mezzaluna on the big chopping block that serves as a stage for the schnitzel before it goes into a sandwich, salad, or platter.
My companion made an Indian-inspired schnitzel, putting it in a crunchy baguette with cucumber salad, lettuce, onions, and a curry yogurt dressing. I placed my Mexican schnitzel atop a bowl of field greens with a little tomato. I loved the sauces that came with my schnitzel and used them in lieu of the ranch dressing. We enjoyed our lunch in the dining room where the decor is as fresh as the chicken, with rustic wood paneling displaying the Seven Hens logo in orange and a blackboard explaining schnitzel to the uninitiated.
My schnitzel was crispy on the outside, tender on the inside…just perfect.
6615 Roswell Road 404-228-5381