The Ultimate Chicken Schnitzel from Fischer's

Claud Grant, head chef of Fischer’s, on one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.

In a nutshell

For me, the beauty of the chicken schnitzel is its simplicity. It’s something you can bring to any table that will please everyone, no matter how sophisticated their palate. With its rich Austrian heritage and hearty flavour, the schnitzel is a casual, easy dining classic that doesn’t skimp on either taste or tradition.

The inspiration

One of the best-known specialities of Viennese cuisine, the schnitzel is also a national dish of Austria, so it’s an absolute must on our menu at Fischer’s. Evoking nostalgia of the 1920s glory days of Vienna’s grand cafés – where a restaurateur called Johann Figlmüller claimed to have served the first schnitzels in his tavern behind St Stephen’s Cathedral – it became a symbol of national pride. It manages to be simultaneously a cultural classic and a versatile comfort food.

The form

The schnitzel is a dish that can be prepared in many different ways. While my personal favourite is made with chicken, we also have veal and – new to our menu – a tromboncino courgette schnitzel. So, it’s a dish that can be made to suit everyone. We serve ours with either a wonderfully rich jus Parisienne, or a lingonberry compote for a sweet and tangy alternative.

The technique
We butterfly the chicken breast and flatten it with a mallet until it is even. To make the crispy exterior, we dip both sides of the meat in a flour mix, then an egg mix, and finally in breadcrumbs. We then fry it in a pan, three to four minutes on each side, until golden brown. We finish by garnishing in sea salt. If it were for me, I’d cover it in our Parisienne jus before tucking in.

The secret
The secret to an evenly cooked chicken schnitzel is in the tenderisation process. We always tenderise our chicken in a sealed vacuum bag, which takes away the direct hit of the mallet and creates a much more even surface. Without the sealed bag, some parts of the chicken can become flatter than others – these areas become overcooked, while the thicker areas don’t cook enough. As the schnitzel guardians at Figlmüller café in Vienna advise, the secret is “pounding, pounding, and pounding it out some more!”