Urology pearls

Schnitzel recipe will require focus

Shahar Madjar, MD, Journal columnist

Lately I have been working on a new book, “The Dieting Doctor.” It is the third and last in a series of books, all of them are collections of essays.

The first book, “Is Life Too Long?” included essays about life, death and “other trivial matters.”

The second, “Take Love Twice Daily,” included love poems and essays on the subject of love.

And in the third book, “The Dieting Doctor,” I describe the long journey I have been taking –a s a food enthusiast, a sometimes-successful dieting person, and a doctor — towards better understanding of food and dieting.

Beside essays, this last book will include several recipes. Each of these recipes has special meaning to me.

They evoke memories of my early childhood and of my family, images of being at home and traveling to distant destinations, and of scenes drawn in vivid colors, aromas, tastes, and textures, and rooted in remote parts of the world and in different cultures.

Here is a recipe for schnitzel taken from “The Dieting Doctor.” It is an attempt to replicate a beloved dish my nanny, Manya, was making for me in her kitchen. The word schnitzel derives from the German word Sniz, or slice. For some, this dish may seem familiar, a mere home-made version of chicken tenders.

But the difference between the version you can get in a fast-food restaurant and the home-made one is substantial. In this recipe, schnitzels are made from slices of fresh chicken breast.

For best results, a process needs to be closely and meticulously followed: the chicken breast is cut; tenderized; coated in flour, egg wash, and bread crumbs; and fried in a pan. The end result is crispy, golden, and delightful.

These culinary marvels are then served, within minutes, with a side of cooked rice, French fries, or vegetables.


Chicken breast, 1 pound

Flour, 1/3 cup

For the egg wash: Eggs, 2 medium; beaten with 1 tablespoon of cold water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of black pepper

Bread crumbs, 1/2 cup

Vegetable oil, 1/3 cup

To make the process efficient, create “several working stations,” an assembly line that follows the order in which the preparation and cooking process takes place:

1. A working station (a cutting board and a meat tenderizer), next to the sink, where the chicken breast will be cut and tenderized.

2. A plate with flour

3. A plate with egg wash

4. A plate with bread crumbs

5. A pan with oil

6. An empty plate where the prepared schnitzels will be stacked after cooking

Now, get to work:

≤ At the working station, on the cutting board, cut the chicken breasts longitudinally into 1/2 inch slices. Then, to prevent splattering during the tenderizing process, place one or two slices of chicken under a thin plastic wrap, and use a meat tenderizer to flatten the slices of the chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thick. Continue the process until all the slices are tenderized.

≤ Turn the stove top to medium heat, pour oil into the pan and wait for it to properly warm up (tip: to check if the oil is hot enough, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If small bubbles are formed around the handle, the oil is hot enough).

≤ Follow these steps with each slice of tenderized chicken: Dip a slice of tenderized chicken into the flour plate and fully coat both sides of the chicken slice with flour.

≤ Dip the slice of chicken into the egg-wash and coat it on both sides with egg wash.

≤ Dip the slice into the bread crumb plate and coat it on both sides with bread crumbs.

≤ Carefully lower the breaded chicken slice into the oil and saute until the breading becomes golden-brown on one side; turn the slice over and keep sauteing it until it is golden-brown on the other side.

≤ Put the prepared schnitzel on a plate lined with a paper towel.

≤ You may cook several schnitzels at the same time.

≤ Use paper towels to separate each layer of prepared schnitzels from the next layer. This will prevent the schnitzels from becoming too oily, or soggy.

≤ Serve the schnitzels with a side of rice, mashed potatoes, French fries, fresh salad, or cooked vegetables.

≤ Bon appetit.


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