Sunday, December 29, 2019

Yotam Ottolenghi's Seeded Chicken Schnitzel

Once a year I go through my spice cabinets. Today was the day and let me tell ya, there was a lot of ridiculousness going on in that cabinet: THREE huge jars of paprika, THREE jars of cajun seasoning, and FOUR jars of various sesame seeds. Why was I thinking?

To remedy this issue, I've made a list of the spices I have on hand and took a photo to store on my phone. My hope is that I will remember to reference this photo before buying any addition spices. Otherwise, the cabinet may explode.

Now, in all seriousness, it is imperative that I use up all these sesame seeds. I remembered Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe for Seeded Chicken Schnitzel and decided today was the day.

Not only does his seeded breadcrumb chicken look absolutely delicious, but it also uses SIX tablespoons of white sesame seeds and TWO tablespoons of black sesame seeds. That is about one and a half jars of sesame seeds, friends! Woohoo! Plus it uses panko, sunflower seeds, coriander seeds, as well as cayenne, and turmeric. All of which I had little bits of that needed using up.

It's worth noting that you should use coriander seeds, not ground coriander. You will be rewarded with the most heady citrusy aroma while crushing them up in a mortar and pestle. It's intoxicating.

This is a beautiful breading, folks. Just look at all the gorgeous color and texture. It's flavorful (you can really taste the coriander, as well as the seeds) and so very crunchy with so many different textures. This is lovely with a squeeze of lemon on top, but would also be nice with aioli or some kind of dipping sauce.

Ottolenghi says, "If you get hooked on this simple supper dish- and I believe the chances are pretty good - make an extra batch of the seed and breadcrumb mix. It keeps well in an airtight container for about 1 month and is really useful to have on hand. It works as well on strips of white fish or sticks of butternut squash as it does on the chicken."

Seeded Chicken Schnitzel
Adapted from Simple
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4-8

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each piece cut 
into 3 long strips (1.5 pounds)*
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/3 cups panko crumbs
6 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
4-1/2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, roughly chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, roughly crushed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
about 7 tablespoons or more sunflower oil, for frying
1 lemon, quartered, to serve

*Notes: I used chicken tenderloins that I pounded thin in place of chicken breast. This recipe makes quite a bit of breadcrumb mixture. You could almost cut the breadcrumb mixture in half and/or make the whole batch and save half, using only what's needed. I ended up throwing away about one and a half cups breadcrumb mixture because it had been with the raw chicken and couldn't be used again.

Place the meat between two bits of plastic wrap, then, one at a time, gently flatten them with a rolling pin; they should end up about 1/2 inch thick (or alternatively place the meat in a plastic bag).

In a medium bowl, mix the flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt and some black pepper.

Put the eggs into a second bowl.

In a third bowl, mix the panko, both sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Dip each bit of chicken into the flour and gently shake off the excess. Now dip it into the egg, then into the seed mix, to coat well. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Put enough oil into a large frying pan to rise 1/4 inch up the sides and place over low to medium heat.  Once hot, add the chicken in batches and fry for 5-6 minutes total, turning after 2-1/2 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate while you continue with the remaining batch and serve hot, with wedges of lemon alongside.


  1. I need to make a list of pantry items to use up as well - not just spices but grains, nuts, seeds, random flours...the list is really embarrassingly endless.

  2. That’s a great idea to do an inventory and make use of the extras. I’d be pleased to sit down to this meal!
    Happy new year, Kim!

  3. Kim, you're keeping me grounded by remembering to clear out the spice rack from time to time. I wish I read this before I made my last panko dry mix. I can hear and see the crunch!


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