As the warmer summer months start to kick in and the temperatures rise, thoughts begin to turn to salads and meze dishes and main meals become a much more simple affair; some seared fish with salad, grilled or sauteed meat with a simple side salad.
And this is also where Barry’s chicken schnitzel recipe comes into its own, too. We actually eat chicken schnitzel all year round, but in summer, served with a salad, it’s perfect!
Chicken schnitzel, or tavuk schnitzel as it’s known in Turkey, is such a simple dish – but so tasty, too, and the colours in the salad just shout out summer. It’s not a traditionally Turkish dish, of course, but it’s highly likely to make an appearance on the menu in many of the restaurants around Fethiye and, no doubt, elsewhere in Turkey.
I’m always reluctant to order it in restaurants just in case it’s dry – and there are so many other tempting dishes on menus – but Barry often takes the risk and plumps for it.
The photo below is the homemade chicken schnitzel offering at Lukka in Çalış that he ordered recently and I’ve had it since, too. Method, you see; I let Barry do the testing first, I try a little bit and then I know if it’s safe to order next time.
Schnitzel is traditionally a dish from German-speaking countries but these days, it’s eaten worldwide. The schnitzel (escalope) can be made from pork, beef, veal or chicken – and, in Turkey, chicken (tavuk) is commonplace.
So, whilst this is not, strictly speaking, a Turkish recipe, tavuk schnitzel is very much on people’s radars (and menus) and Barry’s recipe for chicken schnitzel is my favourite. You’re just going to have to trust me that I’m not just saying that just because I know he’ll be reading this…
Chicken Schnitzel Recipe – Rustic Style
Apart from the fact that this easy chicken schnitzel recipe is light and summery, it also uses minimal ingredients and it’s economical, too. One chicken breast makes two big, chunky, generous schnitzels.
And you might have noticed that our chicken schnitzel recipe is described as rustic. Well, that’s us, you see? Where possible, we don’t like our soups to be too smooth and we love a chunky hummus rather than a silky paste.
When Barry decides to make chicken schnitzel, the traditional coating of fine bread crumbs becomes a slightly more robust, crunchy affair – as you can probably work out from the photo above – juicy breast of chicken encased in the middle.
Mmmm, let’s look at how to make chicken schnitzel from scratch
Chicken Schnitzel Recipe
- 1 large chicken breast skin removed
- 2 eggs
- 1 handful breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup plain flour or corn flour
- 1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- salt & pepper to season
- Mix your breadcrumbs with dried herbs and spices.
- Now sprinkle them over a large plate.
- Beat your eggs and pour these onto another shallow plate. Place this next to your breadcrumb mixture.
- Now take your chicken breast and place it into a plastic bag.
- Use a rolling pin or something similar to beat it out, flatten and tenderise it.
- Now you have one large schnitzel (escalope). Cut this in half to make 2 schnitzels.
- Coat the chicken schnitzels in flour and shake off the excess.
- Gently heat a light covering of sunflower oil in a frying pan.
- Take your chicken schnitzels, one at a time, and coat them in the egg on both sides.
- Now place each fillet into your bread crumb mix, cover both sides and press down to make sure the crumbs stick.
- Turn the heat to high on your pan and place your chicken schnitzels side by side in the oil.
- Fry for 2 minutes on each side to make your breadcrumbs go crispy.
- Now turn the heat to medium and gently fry for a further 2-3 minutes on each side - or until your chicken is cooked.
- Serve immediately with a side salad or other accompaniments to suit the season.
- Your chicken can be substituted for pork or tenderised beef for this schnitzel recipe.
- We like flavoursome foods so we like to add herbs and spices to our breadcrumb mix for chicken schnitzel. This is optional so you can leave yours plain if you like.
- As with all of our recipes, the calorie count per serving is meant as a rough guide.
- The number of calories will depend on the size of your chicken breast, the type of breadcrumbs you use and your oil.
Lots of people deep fry their chicken schnitzel, and this is possibly where the problems start if the schnitzel is left in the fryer for too long. Rock hard coating and dry, tough chicken that you struggle to get your knife and fork through. We’re looking for a golden coating with a light crunch and a tender, juicy chicken breast in the centre.
As we’ve said, you can serve your chicken schnitzel with more filling accompaniments if you wish, but in these hotter months, you just can’t beat a side salad, dressed with lemon and olive oil.
The herbs and spices we use to to add to our breadcrumb mixture can vary – and sometimes, we also crush a couple of fennel seeds or a cardamom pod, too. In the preparation photo, you might also notice a bit of lemon zest, too. It’s all down to you and your imagination.
The preparation time for homemade chicken schnitzel is so short, as is the cooking time, and the finished product is sooo much tastier than those you pull from the box in the freezer. It’s a regular for us. Hope you enjoy it, too. Afiyet olsun!
Homemade Chicken Schnitzel – Afternotes
- This easy chicken schnitzel recipe is in our International Recipes collection – well, we can’t really call it a Turkish recipe, can we?
- If you want to explore some more Turkish-style accompaniments or appetisers for your chicken schnitzel meal, take a look at our collection of Turkish recipes for some ideas, too.