The Secret Ingredient For Extra Crunchy Schnitzel

Expanding your horizons in the kitchen is one way to "travel" during the pandemic. Without leaving home, you can explore and experience the cuisines of different countries, while honing your culinary skills and finding new favorite foods. One meal that happens to achieve that indulgent crispy, juicy balance of fried chicken but, as Martha Stewart pointed out in an Instagram post, isn't as messy or time-consuming as making the more American dish, is schnitzel.

The term "schnitzel" actually refers to the cooking method, itself, explains The Kitchn. It involves pounding a piece of meat until it's thin and tender, then coating it in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and finally giving it a quick fry in the pan. The precise history of this process isn't quite known, but it is considered Austrian in origin. 

"Wiener schnitzel" is arguably the best known of the schnitzels. According to BBC, "wiener schnitzel," specifically, is protected by Austrian law and so it must be made with veal. However, you can whip up a schnitzel with whatever your preferred meat is, from chicken to pork, and even beef. While the method is pretty simple and straightforward, there are some tips to making your schnitzel extra irresistible, like beating the eggs thoroughly, frying at a high enough temperature, and serving with a wedge of lemon to both brighten the dish with a little acidity and keep things authentic. Thanks to aforementioned schnitzel enthusiast Martha Stewart, we recently learned another little game-changing tip for schnitzel with wow factor.

How sesame seeds can up your schnitzel game

The right amount of satisfying crunch is truly the key to schnitzel you will want to make and enjoy over and over, and Martha Stewart's team has just the ticket: sesame seeds. 

"We season the flour and the panko mixture, not just the meat, and add sesame seeds for a nuttier crunch," Stewart's Instagram post reads, throwing in the added tip of seasoning the mixture for extra flavor. For four chicken cutlets, the recipe on Martha Stewart advises three tablespoons of sesame seeds, which get mixed in with the panko breadcrumbs. You dredge your chicken (or meat of choice) in seasoned flour, then egg, then the seasoned panko and sesame seed mix, allowing the meat to pick up more flavor and crunch along the way. 

The recipe also recommends keeping your freshly fried cutlets warm in a pre-heated oven while you finish frying the rest. This will preserve all that extra, mouthwatering crunch you have just added with the genius idea of sesame seeds. The only other tip is to, again, make sure you really pound the cutlets, which will help them cook super fast. All in all, schnitzel with sesame seeds is an appealingly quick and easy way to both explore some Austrian/German fare and enjoy fried chicken,pork or veal, with just the right amount of crunch.