Schnitzel is a beloved main dish brought to Israel by Austrian immigrants, and the addition of za'atar (a popular Middle Eastern spice blend of sesame seeds mixed with powdered sumac and dried thyme) lends it Mediterranean flair. Buy za'atar at ethnic markets or specialty spice stores, or make your own using our recipe for Za'atar (at CookingLight.com). Sautéing the chicken in olive oil is a nod to the custom of eating foods cooked in oil to commemorate the Hanukkah miracle in 165 B.C., when a day's worth of olive oil lit the menorah for eight days after the Maccabees reclaimed the Temple of Jerusalem.
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup za'atar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine panko, za'atar, sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish. Place eggs and egg white in another shallow dish; lightly beat with a fork. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge 4 breast halves in panko mixture, then egg mixture. Dredge again in panko mixture.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 coated chicken breast halves to pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned, turning carefully with a spatula. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, panko mixture, egg mixture, and oil.
Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until done. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
This is pretty tasty, and easy to prepare. It does work best if you get everything ready to go before you start breading the chicken. I used whole-wheat panko, and it's best right after it comes out of the oven; if you have leftovers, the panko loses its crunchiness. The first time I made this, I left out the sesame seeds (I forgot to buy them) but they were in the za'atar I had. I've also substituted Ethiopian berbere for the za'atar (omitting the sesame seeds), and this would be good with other spice blends as well.
Really good. I think I would increase the amount of za'atar and sesame seeds next time for just a little extra added flavor. The lemon was the perfect touch and the chicken came out cooked perfectly. Served with potato cilantro tunisian brik (also on myrecipes) and a mixed veggie which I tossed with a bit of olive oil and additional za'atar. Now I just need to find more recipes with za'atar since I have a huge bag left lol.
We agree with all the other reviews. We loved it at our house! It's easy to cut down to two portions - other than reducing ingredients I made it exactly as written. The extra squirt of lemon to finish just added an additional wonderful flavor. My husband kept remarking on
I had not tried Zatar seasoning before and DH & I loved it...the nice thing was that it was an easy dish to make for only 2 people...I did have left over breading but I just saved it and made the chicken again the next week
A great tasting chicken dish! I enjoyed using panko crumbs and za'atar spice for the first time. I had to increase the amounts for the coating process probably by at least double most likely because I had huge chicken breasts. I did end up with some leftover coating crumb mixture though.
This recipe came together quickly and easily. It was simply delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except that I only had a 1/3 of the panko for the recipe, I thought I had more so I subsituted plain bread crumbs. This recipe will deffinetly go into heavy roation in our family.
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