Most recipes for breaded and fried cutlets are engineered to keep the breading suffused to the meat. But for Viennese schnitzel, it’s all about the separation between the two.
As it fries, schnitzel’s breading puffs away dramatically from the chicken cutlet (or pork, veal, or any other thinly pounded protein of your choice), forming an airy, wrinkly shell. When it settles, you’ve got a juicy, tender piece of meat encased in a golden-brown, delicate-yet-crisp coating.
So how do you get that perfectly light and crisp puff? For his Chicken Schnitzel recipe, Cook’s Illustrated Test Cook Steve Dunn spent weeks finding the best technique. Here’s what he found.