Panko, poppy and sesame seed chicken schnitzel

A favourite food gets a crunchy makeover

  • place SERVES 6 - 8
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This recipe is from Leah’s Little Book of Jewish Feasts where she writes in her intro that chicken schnitzel is one of Israel’s most popular street foods. And with good reason, it’s simple, satisfying and super tasty. Panko gives extra crunch, and for more texture and colour, add poppy and sesame seeds to your crumb coating. It’s delicious with a squeeze of lemon juice and a side of mayonnaise mixed with harissa, although my children (and I suspect many others) prefer theirs with ketchup (sigh)... 
Recipe adapted from Little Book of Feasts, Chronicle Books
  • Stir together the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a wide shallow bowl or small baking dish. Beat the eggs in another bowl. Stir together the bread crumbs, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds in a third bowl. 
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully butterfly each chicken breast, then use a meat mallet to gently pound each piece to a 6 mm thickness. You should end up with 12 relatively uniform pieces of chicken breast. 
  • Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture on both sides, shaking off the excess. Dip in the egg to coat, allowing the excess to drip off, then coat well with the seeded bread crumbs. 
  • Heat 6 mm of vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels. Working in batches, add the coated chicken pieces to the hot pan and cook, turning once, until crispy and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to the prepared plate to drain. 
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing. Store leftovers, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days. 
  • To reheat, arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and heat in a 200°C oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Leah Koenig

First published in the Jewish Chronicle December 2019


140g plain flour

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sweet paprika

4 eggs

60g panko bread crumbs

70g  sesame seeds

35g poppy seeds

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

Lemon wedges for serving

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