7 November 2011

Oven Baked Chicken Schnitzel with Sweet Potato Wedges and an Autumn Coleslaw that Steals the Show

healthy chicken schnitzel served with the best autumn coleslaw
Oven Baked Chicken Schnitzel
with Sweet Potato Wedges and an Autumn Coleslaw

For anyone who reads these pages occasionally you will know that I recently indulged in a shopping weekend in Washington State. Shopping has its place in the world but there comes a time, usually after a mornings splurge, when my thoughts move over to my next foodie adventure! If the truth be told it is not simply about nourishing the body but about the experience. Kindred spirits will agree it is undeniably true that our travel experiences are usually centred around all things food related. This trip was no different.

On a Sunday drive through the Cascade Mountains I found myself in a fairy tale village perched on top of the misty Cascade Mountains with an elevation of about 1,100 feet! Leavenworth is fashioned after a Bavarian Village in one of the most beautiful settings you could imagine. The drive to the village alone is exhilarating, although on this day it was a misty, rainy morning! If you can look beyond the "kitsch," where there is a Bavarian motif around ever corner, you will find a very resourceful town that is worth a visit. There is always something happening!!!! Oktoberfest had just ended and I haven't attended a festival since growing up in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, but I was in the mood for some premium German ales and some classic schnitzel!!!

The visually stunning house facades in this stylized village capture fairy tale motifs from the Brothers Grimm like Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood as well as points of interest I have visited in the Bavarian Alps many years ago. There are flowers cascading from window boxes and flowering pots on every corner. In the late 1960s, with a population of just over 2,000 people, Leavenworth managed to save its dwindling and relatively isolated  forestry community from quiet oblivion by creating this self-styled Bavarian paradise. As you wander the streets you can imagine the Von Trapps, merrily singing their troubles away high amid the snow-capped Alps, only this is the Cascades in Washington State. In the summer there is music and costumed merry makers to compound the feeling of being in Europe. The result is a booming tourist industry and an odd juxtaposition of modern life and fabricated nostalgia. Even the golden arches of the Leavenworth McDonalds are carved into a small wooden sign; bucolic murals of alpine life have been painted on its stucco walls.  At Christmas the town is transformed into a fairy tale village of twinkling lights which brings throngs of bus tours.

The real visual art, however, was the incredible mountain scenery surrounding the village. I wanted to recapture that feeling of being in the Bavarian Alps in my own kitchen. Luckily for me, I had recently downloaded Kathryn Elliott and Lucinda Dodds‘ Autumn edition of their recipe book, An Honest Kitchen. Schnitzel originated in Germany and refers to a piece of meat that is pounded out thinly, breaded with fresh breadcrumbs and fried to a crispy coating.  A breaded veal cutlet is referred to as "weiner-schnitzel" in German cuisine. Another variation is "hanchen-schnitzel" which is made with chicken breast. This recipe is lightened up by baking the cutlets rather than frying and serving them with some healthy sides, although the hearty German ale served on the side was the balancing act.  The autumn coleslaw may be a side dish but this salad stole the show!!!!!!!!"Prost"!!

**Oven Baked Chicken Schnitzel with Sweet Potato Wedges and Autumn Colelsaw**
based on a recipe from An Honest Kitchen
  • 1 large or 2 small chicken thigh fillets (I used breast as it was what I had) about 200g per person
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400 F) and place some parchment paper on a baking tray.

Put the chicken fillets between tow pieces of plastic wrap. Gently bash (is that an oxymoron?) the chicken with a meat mallet or rolling pin, until it’s about 5mm thick. You may need to turn it over a couple of times while doing this, to ensure an even thickness.

Put the flour in one bowl, the beaten eggs in another and in a third bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and oregano. Dip the chicken pieces into the flour first. Shake off any excess and then dip into the beaten egg. Finally dip each chicken piece into the breadcrumb mixture. Give it a quick shake and place on the baking tray.

Put the crumbed chicken in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning half way through. The chicken is ready when it’s browned on both sides and cooked through, but still tender. To check this, stick a sharp knife into the thickest part of the chicken. If the juices run clear, it’s done.

**Sweet Potato Wedges**
  • 1 small-ish sweet potato peeled
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400 F).

Cut the sweet potato in half and then cut each half into 6 – 8 wedges. Place these in a large bowl with the onion, oregano, paprika, olive oil and salt. Toss to combine. Place the wedges in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Place the baking tray on the top shelf in the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes, take them out and turn each wedge over. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes, until crisp and golden.

**Autumn Coleslaw**
  • a wedge of red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, shredded
  • 1⁄2 red chili, seeds removed, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 large handfuls arugula, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 apple, cored and grated
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
Shake together the dressing ingredients in a jar with a screw top.

Add the vegetables, herbs and apple to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. What a great meal all-around, Val. I am especially loving that autumn slaw!

  2. Val you make the most amazing food - can I move in?! I'll do the washing up lol
    Seriously this looks really good.

  3. That is such a great village! Beautiful and interesting.

    Your schnitzel and sweet potato wedges look so scrummy!



  4. Hola beauty! Sorry I'm not visiting as much as I wish. Your dishes are so hearty and delicious and that virtual walk took me back to Ludwig Neuschwanstein Castle in Baviera which I visited long long time ago. Much love.

  5. I actually visited Ludwig's Neuschwanstein Castle in Baviera, but that was long long time ago. Awesome! I wish I visit you more your dishes always light my face up. Thanks for being there Val :D

  6. I love all forms of slaw!

  7. Back when I was 18, which of course was only yesterday, I visited Castle Neuschwanstein as well Nuria. I remember the coral blue of the lakes.

  8. As a "child" I studied in Austria and now you have me yearning for Leavenworth - I never knew it existed but love its whimsy and beauty. Because of my time in Austria - even when I make Italian chicken cutlets - I must have lemon! I love schnitzel. And those sweet potatoes will be on my plate tonight! Perfect timing.

  9. Look delicious like always dera Val, I love all your dishes always look nice! x gloria

  10. I love these small villages embedded in the montanha. always seem to outputs of a fairy tale and lost in time.
    Your food has a beauty and warmth that always catch me

  11. I wished I had been to that place before moving. I miss the mountains. Nice meal Val especially the coleslaw.

  12. You've outdone yourself, Val. This trifecta is loaded with wonderful flavors and textures. Haven't had schnitzel since my grandmother was alive and she fried it, of course. I love the idea of baking. Sweet potatoes are fabulous roasted and I'm anxious to try rosemary next time I make them. I'm not much of a slaw lover, but the fennel in this recipe might make me change my mind.

  13. Yum! I have all these ingredients on hand. It may be whats for dinner tonight!!

  14. I remember when you visited this village and posted the photos. It's sooo nice.

    I like the slaw dressing...I know it was a show stealer.

  15. I became enchanted with Leavenworth after seeing a TV special about their annual Christmas celebration. It looked like such a wonderful community event - kitsch and all. Certainly the mountains in the background make you want to think of the Alps. Why not play it up?

    Your dishes would be right at home there - or anywhere else. Who doesn't love a good chicken schnitzel?

  16. Very nice post, Val, all around: the place, your words, the recipes, the photos. A lovely meal!

  17. I'm with you...I'd much rather indulge in foodie adventures than shopping sprees! Love the autumn flavors in this dish!

  18. That looks lovely. Chicken schnitzel is one of our favourites and strangely, I've never made my own. Will try that with the coleslaw although not the sweet potatoes as we can't get them in Fethiye. :(

  19. I so agree with you Travel and Good go hand in hand. What a lovely plate; your photo is Perfect! I must say you do have pretty nice corner that you travel.

  20. I love German food, especially a good schnitzel. This one looks fantastic.

  21. I get so inspired in culinary ways when I travel. Your dinner looks amazing - can't wait to try this salad!

  22. What a lovely dinner. I really like it that the schnitzel is baked an not fried. This is a must try!
    *kisses* HH

  23. We made a trip there in early December when we lived in California. It was, indeed, magical. I vowed that when we had children, we'd take them. That didn't happen but there are nice memories!

    The schnitzel and that salad look delicious. I'll be doing that salad with a number of dishes.


  24. What a lovely recipe, Val. My family loves this kind of dish. It really looks delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  25. I love little trips like this, and yes, mine seem to always revolve around food too! What a fun little town; I love the windowbox flowers and painted murals. This schnitzel is amazing...every component of the dish. I was planning on making sweet potato wedges for Thanksgiving!!

  26. Leavenworth looks to be such a charming town! What a wonderful visit it must have been. The schnitzel looks delicious! I like that it's baked. And yes, I agree "gently bash" is an oxymoron.

  27. The slaw does sound fabulous with the chile and apple combined with all the other crunchy vegetables. Sounds like a great meal!

  28. What a lovely village! I can totally visualize being in a fairy tale there with Hansel and Gretel.

    Your chicken schnitzel mit sweet potatoes and slaw sound wonderful!

  29. As you've read on my blog, my Mutti was from Bavaria. I get very nostalgic when I think about her homeland. LOVED the picture of Neuschwanstein Castle. I took my mom there, and we had a great time. Great recipes, Val. Yes, that slaw would steal my heart, too. Well done.

  30. I actually just made a note to myself this morning to make schnitzel SOON! :-) I love that you made yours in the oven. How very clever. I will have to try that. :-)

  31. What a perfect autumn meal! Schnitzel is a definite comfort food!

  32. Schnitzel used to be on the regular rotation around here. This is making me want to add it back to the rotation. I like the fact that you baked it too.

    The slaw also looks really good. I'm not a fan of traditional (mayo--based) slaws, but I could really go for something like this.

  33. Baked schnitzel - I love it! Did you know that legend has it, 'A man should be able to sit on a properly cooked schnitzel without getting a grease stain on the seat of his pants'.

  34. My mouth is watering! that looks AMAZING.


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