Chicken Schnitzel is pretty much the national dish of Australia (perhaps after pie?), which is funny, because if you ask for chicken schnitzel in the UK people think you’ve come straight from the 1970’s.
The only problem with chicken schnitzel is the ingredients. This is what’s in a fairly standard one I saw in the supermarket:
Chicken (52%), Water, Buckwheat Flour, Wheat Flour, Thickener (1404, 415, 1442), Salt, Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, Garlic), Herbs (Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage), Spices (Pepper), Wheat Gluten, Yeast, Egg Albumen, Sugar, Colours (150a, 100, 160c, 160b), Dextrose (Tapioca, Maize), Mineral Salts (450, 500), Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Soy Protein, Thickener (1404), Yeast, Vinegar, Iodised Salt, Soy Flour, Emulsifiers (411, 481, 472E), Vitamin (Thiamin, Folate), Vegetable Gum (412), Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Wheat Cereal, Flavour Enhancer (635)
Quite alarming when the chicken element in your chicken is barely 50%, don’t you think? Also “chicken” doesn’t really tell you too much, I think we can assume if it doesn’t say free-range, it’s almost certainly not the type of chicken I’d choose to buy. So you know what this means? Yes – it means a paleo chicken schnitzel recipe is called for!
- 2 free-range chicken breasts
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup almond meal
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- Preheat your oven to 230C (450F) if you’re going to oven bake rather than fry
- Slice the chicken in half width-ways, creating two thin pieces and pound with a rolling pin (or, if you have a better equipped kitchen than me, a meat tenderiser) until it’s super thin. If you don’t want raw chicken flying around your kitchen, you can wrap it in gladwrap/ cling film for this step. You can keep whole and have proper schnitzels, or slice into strips like I did.
- Put the Tapioca flour (or you can use arrowroot flour if you don’t have tapioca) in a bowl, and the egg in a separate bowl. Tip – fill up the Tapioca bowl as you use it to avoid waste.
- In another bowl, mic together the almond meal, coconut flour, seasoning and herbs/ spices. I tend to do this in small batches too, to avoid being left with an eggy mess of excess crumb mixture I’ll have to throw away.
- Now for the fun part. Dip the chicken pieces in each bowl, turn by turn: start with the tapioca layer, then the egg layer and end with the crumb mixture. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this turns into a huge mess, so small batches of the dry bowls will help here.
- You now have a choice and whilst most people will choose to fry, I find I get far better results oven baking. The crumb is evenly golden with the inside cooked but tender. But give both a try and see what works for you.
- If you’re oven baking, arrange on a baking tray and cook for about 20 minutes. I always cut into the chicken in a couple of the thickest places to ensure there are no pink bits left. If you’re going to fry about 8-10 minutes in a hot pan in some coconut oil should do the trick – just make sure you turn them a couple of times.
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Do you have a gluten-free paleo version of this recipe that you use? I'd love to hear your secret ingredients!