I fell in love with veal cordon bleu prepared schnitzel style in restaurants while living in Germany in the late 60’s. But stateside, veal was hard to come by when I first began to replicate the recipe, so I subbed chicken breast. I have come fairly close to the ‘authentic’ versions my memories provide of this delicious main dish. I suppose schnitzel style offers more surface area for the yummy coating than does the traditional roulade or rolled style Cordon Bleu. Over time I have tried many crumb types for the coating but have finally settled on Japanese style bread crumbs like Panko for crispiest texture. The only garnish/seasoning I used previously was fresh lemon wedges; lately I’ve experimented making a cream sauce of chicken broth, white wine and cream. See Photo 12 for general sauce directions. You won’t need many ingredients to make this schnitzel, but it’s a tad messy and tricky to prepare so I included a tutorial of photos. I hope you’ll try this “Blue Ribbon” recipe soon. It’s a pleaser!
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breast (think cutlets – chicken tenders are too skinny for this)
- 5 ounces sliced ham
- 4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 to 2 cups Japanese style bread crumbs (like Panko)
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in large flat skillet over medium heat. Place beaten eggs and bread crumbs in separate wide flat bowls and set aside.
- Select and pair up the chicken breast cutlets equal in size; you’ll need 2 to make each schnitzel “sandwich” and depending on size, each sandwich will serve 2 people generously – four for the whole recipe.
- Place between wax paper (I recycle my cereal and cracker liner bags for this because they are so durable and will stand up to the pounding – see photos); using mallet pound to thin each to a thickness of 1/4″.
- Place a slice of ham on one of the thinned chicken cutlets and on top of that a slice of Swiss cheese; trim the ham and cheese to fit the chicken cutlet shape. Top with the matching thinned chicken cutlet to form the sandwich. At this point you may need to cut the sandwich in half to serving size, so it is easier to handle, coat and cook.
- Holding each sandwich firmly, dip it into beaten eggs coating one side completely; then carefully turn it over and dip the second side in eggs, allowing excess egg to drip away.
- In like manner coat both sides with bread crumbs.
- Place into heated oil in pan and fry til golden brown on both sides, adding the additional 1/4 cup oil as needed.
- Serve with lemon wedges (optional).