Okay, I know it's been a while, but I'm finally sharing my second post in the series dedicated to Checker Hall restaurant. The first recipe, seared mushrooms and halloumi with black garlic babaghanoush, is a great appetizer or side dish. For this post, I'm moving on to the entree. How does seeded chicken schnitzel with hot tomato jam sauce, harissa aioli, and dill apple cabbage slaw sound? Delicious? Exactly my thoughts.
Seeded Chicken Schnitzel
Hot tomato jam sauce
- 17.6 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup harissa
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- salt and pepper
Dill apple cabbage slaw
- 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 1 small granny smith apple cut into matchsticks
- 2 scallions chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- salt and pepper
Seeded chicken schnitzel
- 2 chicken breasts skinless, boneless
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup panko
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs beaten
- ¼ cup oil
- Make hot tomato jam sauce. Drain canned tomatoes, discarding liquid. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep pan or medium pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add red wine vinegar and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
- Add sugar and canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Simmer until all of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until tomato mixture is thickened and jammy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer jam to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Heat honey with hot sauce, red chili flakes, and cayenne in a small pot over low heat. Simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat. Add hot honey to tomato jam and stir until well combined. Set aside.
- Prepare harissa aioli. Mix together mayonnaise with harissa, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Make dill apple cabbage slaw. Whisk together mustard, vinegar, and sugar until well combined. Toss together dressing with cabbage, apples, scallion, and dill. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Prepare seeded chicken schnitzel. Pound chicken breasts until ¼ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place panko, white and black sesame seeds, and garlic powder in a deep bowl. Add flour in another bowl and beat eggs in a third bowl. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip chicken in eggs, making sure to cover all sides. Lay chicken in panko mixture, coating evenly on all sides.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Carefully lay chicken in oil and cook until golden brown. Flip chicken over and cook until golden brown. You may have to cook chicken in batches. Remove from heat and drain excess oil on a paper towel lined plate. Serve with dill apple mustard slaw, hot tomato jam sauce, harissa aioli, and lemon wedges, if desired.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
There are more chicken schnitzel recipes out there than I can count but this one is particularly special. What makes it stand out? First, you have a special seeded crust. Second, it's all about the sauces. The hot tomato jam sauce and harissa aioli add so much life to the dish, it almost transforms it. And third, you have the dill apple cabbage slaw to add brightness to the dish. It's an incredible meal.
Checker Hall's version takes chicken schnitzel, drizzles hot honey on top, and serves it with three sauces: tahini, aioli, and chili jam. I decided to combine the hot honey with the chili jam to make the ultimate hot tomato jam sauce. They also have a side bibb salad with citrus and slaw; I swapped them out for a dill apple cabbage slaw. Minor changes, but still delicious either way.
There are a lot of elements in this meal, so let's get right to it. Start by making the component that takes the longest to prepare, the tomato jam.
Saute chopped onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Then, add red wine vinegar and bring to a simmer. When the liquid's reduced by half, add the sugar and drained canned tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the jam is thickened. Make sure you stir the jam occasionally to prevent the jam from burning.
Meanwhile, make the hot honey. Simmer honey with red chili flakes, hot sauce, and cayenne. You can adjust the level of spice accordingly. This recipe makes a medium-level spice.
Stir the hot honey with the pureed tomato jam and the first sauce is complete! Feel free to make it up to 3 days in advance.
Luckily, the other two toppings are much easier to prepare. To make the harissa aioli, just mix the mayonnaise, harissa, lime juice, salt, and pepper together.
For the dill apple cabbage slaw, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and sugar together. Then, toss the dressing with the shredded cabbage, apple, scallions, and dill until well combined. Keep the slaw in the fridge to prevent it from wilting while you prepare the chicken.
Alas, we can finally prepare the chicken. Pound chicken breasts until they are about ¼-inch thick. You can use chicken thighs instead if you prefer but breasts are the usual choice.
Next, set up your breading station. Place flour in one bowl, whisk eggs in another, and fill the third with the panko sesame mixture.
Working with one chicken at a time, dredge it in flour, shaking off the excess. Then, dip it in the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides. Finally, coat it in the panko mixture.
You can deep fry the seeded chicken schnitzel but I chose to shallow fry it. Heat ¼ cup oil in a saute pan and carefully fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Since we pounded out the chicken, it should cook rather quickly.
Remove the chicken from the oil and drain the excess oil on paper towels.
Serve the seeded chicken schnitzel with a generous serving of hot tomato jam sauce, harissa aioli, and dill apple cabbage slaw. Time to finally dig in!
I couldn't get enough of this dinner. It was reminiscent of Checker Hall's but also different in a special way. The seeds add great texture and an added layer of nuttiness to the chicken. And the sauces? One wonderfully sweet and spicy, the other creamy, both complement the schnitzel perfectly. Combine all that with the slaw and it's game over. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did!
For more fried chicken inspiration check out this Szechuan Nashville chicken recipe!
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