Michael Gurevich is destined to be the king of schnitzel in Atlanta and perhaps, nationwide. Here, he describes how he and his staff prepare perfectly crunchy schnitzel at Seven Hens in Decatur and Sandy Springs:
How to make a crunchy schnitzel
Schnitzel is an age-old cooking technique originating in Europe. A schnitzel is made by pounding a boneless piece of meat, essentially tenderizing it, then breading and frying it until it becomes “tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside”. More than likely, you are cooking schnitzel to get that wonderful crunch factor. These are the three major elements to achieve a truly crunchy schnitzel:
1. Thickness of protein: Broadly speaking, the thinner the protein, the crunchier the schnitzel. Thinner protein means more breading per bite which equals more crunch. Using your meat mallet, make sure to pound the chicken breast EVENLY. That’s more important than a certain thickness. Pound with elasticity in your wrist, not like you’re hammering a nail; that will tear the chicken breast.
2. Breading mix: A lot has been said about breading. The sticklers from Vienna use only hand-made bread crumbs from the Austrian Emperor Roll. Alternatively, and what I found to provide consistent results is using a bread crumb/panko mix. I can’t reveal the proportions and secret ingredients we use at Seven Hens, but any combination will produce a crunchy coating when fried.
3. Frying time: At Seven Hens we fry the schnitzel until it is “Golden Brown Delicious.” Obviously, the longer the frying time, the harder the crunch. At home you can cook by time but in a commercial kitchen you can’t because the oil temperature changes during the day. Color is a fairly good indicator, even though not perfect because the color will be different due to the oil’s age and time of day. You should experiment and find the color you like. No matter how you slice it, you want a beautiful, dark golden brown schnitzel.
The crunch defines the schnitzel!
2140 North Decatur Road & 6615 Roswell Road