Thursday, May 19, 2022

Gluten Free Egg Free Chicken Schnitzel Recipe - Allergy Friendly Fried Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Schnitzel. It has many names and variations around the world, as well as many different ways to eat it. But one thing they all have in common- dip it in egg then breadcrumbs and then fry. That's all very well and good, but what about people who can't eat gluten? Ok, gluten free breadcrumbs or something like that. But no egg? That is harder. No gluten or egg? You're up a creek without a paddle. Or not.

I figured out how to make schnitzel without using egg or gluten! It was honestly hard to figure out, because the standard egg replacement didn't cause the coating to stick onto the meat, and even once I figured out how to do it, when I tried skipping a step it also failed. So this is how I suggest you make it, without any variations, because otherwise I can't guarantee it'll work. 

This makes terrific flavorful schnitzel that the gluten and egg eaters will eat happily because it tastes just as good as the standard schnitzel.

I make my schnitzel with chicken, but you can make it with any other meat, whether turkey, beef, pork, etc... just follow the same method and it'll be fine. I use vegetable oil for mine, instead of the clarified butter used for traditional Weiner schnitzel, which makes mine good for people with dairy sensitivities as well.

There is a little bit you can play around with when it comes to this recipe. The actual liquids used don't matter so much; feel free to change them up to suit your taste. The point is just to add flavor to the meat. Options of liquids/wet things you can use are limitless, but some examples are: 

  • sweet chili sauce
  • ketchup
  • jam
  • teriyaki
  • pickle juice
  • salad dressing
  • maple syrup
  • almond milk
  • wine
  • orange juice
  • mustard
  • beer (keep this gluten free)
When it comes to the crumbs used for the coating, you can use anything gluten free (or gluten if you don't need to keep this gluten free) that is either savory or not too sweet that crumble. I use my food processor or grain container of my blender to make these things into crumbs. Even when they're stale or very crumbly its totally fine like this. Examples of things I've used or have eaten as coatings are (I will not be labeling these as gluten free- make sure to use gluten free versions of the following):
  • Pretzels (everything seasoning pretzels are the best)
  • Crackers
  • Breadsticks
  • Leftover bread (gluten free bread that is no longer fresh and doesn't taste so great anymore- into the blender you go!)
  • Cornflakes (even honey nut cornflakes taste good here!)
  • Chex or other not too sweet cereal
  • Tortillas
  • Almond flour (I tried making schnitzel with coconut flour- was not a hit with my kids)
As for seasoning for the crumbs, it depends on how flavorful the crumbs start out. Any of the following can work for your seasoning, but add a little at a time and taste- and you can because there's no raw meat at this point- and adjust:
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Ok fine, I don't have any other ideas here because my creativity is shot because it is too late at night for me to be writing... and because I usually just add most of my seasoning via the liquids, but add whatever spices you like, go ahead!
  • Sesame seeds. Yes, not spices. Yes I like adding them to my crumbs. So shoot me. 
Basically, follow the procedure. The rest of the details are up to you. I just wrote exactly how I made mine this last time I did it (because all the other times I didn't write down measurements) but from here you can let your imagination run wild.

Gluten Free Egg Free Chicken Schnitzel Recipe - Allergy Friendly Fried Breaded Chicken Cutlets

1 package of chicken breasts, 2 1/2 lbs chicken breast
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour mix that contains either xantham or guar gum, OR homemade mix made from 1/2 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (and if you eat gluten, you can just use white flour)
2 tablespoons honey mustard
2 tablespoons bbq sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey  
1/4-1/2 cup water (as needed)
4 cups crumbs (I made mine from 2 packages of corn tortillas)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt
A piece of carrot
Oil as needed

1. Slice your chicken breast into thin cutlets. I cut each half of a breast into approximately 4 pieces. Some people pound their cutlets, I just chop them thinly. Feel free to watch this really old and bad quality video of me explaining how I do that, starting at 3:10. If you don't get as many cutlets out of it as I do, that's fine, you'll just have fewer pieces of schnitzel and will probably have a little more batter and crumbs left over.

2. Cover your cutlets with potato starch. I find this easiest to do by putting them all in a ziplock bag, adding the starch, and shaking it around until everything has starch. But however you want to do it works.

3. Mix your flour mix with all the liquidy stuff, like all the sauces. Then add enough water that you get a thin batter, looser than cake batter, but not incredibly loose. If the liquids you've used in yours don't contain salt, add some to it.

4. Add your spices to your crumb mixture, along with the sesame seeds. Or leave those out if you're allergic to sesame seeds or to make this top-8-allergen friendly. We eat sesame seeds around here.

5. Heat up oil in a pan on a medium heat. You want at least half a centimeter of oil in there, probably more, as it gets absorbed as you cook your schnitzel, and then you'll have to add more and wait for the oil to heat up before you cook more. Add a chunk of raw carrot to it. I don't know why it works, but my friend showed me this trick once and it stops your place from smoking up when you're frying! 

6. Take your starch coated cutlets and drop them in your batter. (Or is it called a slurry? I don't know.) Before you do, make sure the starch is all over the chicken and that there aren't any bits that got folded over and not starch covered, because the starch is what makes the batter stick to the meat and then hold on the crumbs. Don't try to skip the starch or you'll have fried crumbs and chicken but not together. And any part not covered in starch will be crumbless and we want crummy chicken. Make sure the batter gets everywhere.

7. Put your crumbs out in a shallow dish and then place your batter covered chicken breast into them. You can try turning them over to get crumbs on all sides, but I find it easiest to use a spoon to pick up crumbs and put them on the top. Again, make sure the crumbs coat everything, and place on a plate/in a shallow dish. You can fry these as is, or you can make a whole dish filled with crummy cutlets and then fry them all at once. Your call.

8. Place your cutlets down in the hot oil totally flat, and then add more cutlets to the pan making sure they don't touch each other. Do not touch these for a good minute or so, so the crumbs have a chance to get cooked onto it, and then flip over. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping as needed. Depending on how thick your cutlets are, you may need more or less time. If you are unsure, remove a thicker one from the pan, slice in half at the thickest part, and check to see that the chicken is solidly cooked.

9. Remove from the pan and place on a napkin lined plate or pan to cool.

10. If you have any leftover batter or crumbs, feel free to use that to fry up more things, like onion rings or zucchini or mushrooms, or anything else you like to fry.

11. Eat immediately or heated up as leftovers. We like ours eaten with either ketchup or sweet chili sauce, but there is no limit to how to eat these. I know people that eat these in buns with veggies and condiments. Traditionally schnitzel is eaten with lemon in many parts of the world. I just included a lemon slice in mine to make it photogenic, but I never actually eat mine with lemon.

Are you a fan of schnitzel? How do you make yours? Does this look like something you would try? How do you like to eat your schnitzel?

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