I admit I am a news junkie. That is why I read the online versions of both the New York Times and the Washington Post as well as our local publications. A few weeks ago the Washington Post had a recipe that sounded intriguing – Crispy Sesame Schnitzel. Being of German descent, a schnitzel recipe definitely gets my attention. The idea of adding sesame seeds sounded good. I decided to give it a try.
This is one of those recipes that only required the purchase of a single ingredient – the sesame seeds – all the other ingredients were already in my pantry and freezer. I actually had some sesame seeds in the pantry but they had been there a while and didn’t want to run the risk of them having gone rancid. The recipe calls for roasted sesame seeds but I wasn’t able to find those. So I opted to roast them my self – an easy task. The original recipe also calls for 4 chicken thighs for 2 people. I found that two thighs were enough for two of us. This is the recipe I used for the two of us. You can double the number of chicken thighs if you have really hearty appetites.
Crispy Sesame Schnitzel Serves 2
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds – or roast your own if you can’t find the roasted version in your supermarket
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper – more if you like your breading spicer. You could also use dried ground Chipotle pepper for a smokier taste.
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 chicken thighs, skin removed and deboned
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or enough to cover a frying pan up to 1/4 inch
Combine the panko, roasted sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish. In a separate dish beat the egg. Whisk the flour and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt in a third dish.
Trim the excess fat from the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and a little of the cayenne or chipotle pepper if you prefer the dish spicier. working with one thigh at a time, place between two pieces of plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet, pound the chicken flat to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
Coat each of the thighs first in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess, then dip the thigh in the egg, and finally into teh seasoned panko, making sure each piece is evenly and thoroughly coated. Place each coated thigh on a baking sheet lined with aluminaum foil. Refigerate for at least 10 minutes. This will help the coating adhere during the cooking process. Discard any remaining flour, egg and panko mixtures.
Place a wire rack over an aluminum foil lined baking sheet – this really helps with the clean up! Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Lay one of the coated chicken thighs in the pan. Fry until the underside is brown, about 3 minutes at altitude – less time at lower altitudes. Using tongs, turn the chicken over and fry for another 1 to 2 minutes until that side is now browned. Transfer to the wire rack while you cook the remianing thigh.
I served this with buttered noodles and red cabbage. Even though it is still summer here, and this is really a winter dish, I have to admit we were perfectly happy enjoying our schnitzel! I’ll be making this one again when the leaves begin to fall!