We love classic Wiener Schnitzel, the pounded, breaded, and pan-fried veal cutlets. Carolin, who submitted a top-rated recipe for Wiener Schnitzel to Allrecipes, explains the name: "'Wiener' comes from the word 'Wien,' which is the Austrian city, Vienna. 'Schnitzel' means basically meat in a crust."
Originally, the "meat in a crust" may have been veal. But you can "schnitzel" cutlets of pork, chicken, and beef (typically cheaper cuts like round steak, chuck, or cube steaks). Around here, we take a pretty liberal interpretation of schnitzel. That way, we can expand our definition to include the Italian-inspired cotoletta alla Milanese and the Southern classic chicken-fried steak, a.k.a. country-fried steak. And why not? Legend has it that chicken-fried steak was the invention of German and Austrian immigrants, who were looking to recreate Wiener Schnitzel using ingredients available in the New World. And on the plains of Texas, that meant beef steak.
Here are some of our very favorite schnitzel recipes.
We'll start with the original! This one calls for veal. "PERFECT German schnitzel," raves KMBEHREND. "It is just as good as any schnitzel I have had in Germany -- if not better." RouxGirl recommends trying it with turkey breast! "Hubby and I went to Munich during Oktoberfest, and I ordered Wiener Schnitzel made with turkey. It was awesome. Just buy thinly sliced raw turkey breast meat and follow this recipe. Wonderful!"
These pounded pork cutlets are breaded, pan-fried, and served with a mushroom, butter, and wine sauce. "I loved this," says hillary. "It turned out great. I made extra sauce and put the pork over mashed potatoes."
Milanese is the Italian version of schnitzel. This recipe features chicken breasts and Italian-seasoned bread crumbs. "LOVED IT," raves Cynthia. "Plated it on a bed of mashed potatoes and topped it with a homemade artichoke sauce -- artichokes sauteed in olive oil, garlic, and butter."
Here is the veal version of Milanese, flavored with savory Romano cheese and topped with arugula, golden raisins, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This recipe is baked instead of pan-fried. "Excellent, excellent flavor," says Buckwheat Queen. "Each ingredient just jumps up and down in every bite. The sweet raisins, tangy balsamic vinegar, and peppery arugula blend naturally with the savory breaded cutlet."
Here's some Texas-style schnitzel, featuring beef cube steaks. Tabasco Sauce and garlic spice up the batter. "This is by far the best chicken fried steak I've ever had," says Norah. "I've made it numerous times for my Southern-raised better half. I get nothing but rave reviews."
Here's a great baked schnitzel recipe featuring chicken breasts. "Growing up, chicken schnitzel was a classic," says Chef V. "I decided to make it oven-friendly using less oil, and an easier cleanup. This dish tastes great with potato salad, or mashed potatoes and a nice crisp salad."
The "hunter" version of pork schnitzel features sauteed mushrooms and gravy. "This is simple German home cooking," says Mama Bear. "The recipe is easy to play with (veal, pork, beef). We never make it the same way twice. Always comforting and delicious." To complete the meal, enjoy with spaetzle, potatoes, or noodles and braised red cabbage.
Now, typically, where recipe names are concerned, we do not tolerate redundancy where recipe names are concerned...but for chicken-fried chicken, we make allowances. The name simply means that you're getting chicken, not steak, fried in the style of chicken-fried steak cutlets. Saltine crackers and potato flakes take care of the light breading here. People love this recipe -- it has more than 1,700 five-star ratings!