Crispy, juicy chicken schnitzel is a dish that is practically ubiquitous in Israel — much to the relief of all parents who have taken their picky American kids on a trip to the Holy Land. On my family’s last trip, my son must have eaten schnitzel with rice at least once a day while the rest of us were enjoying falafel, sabich, and shwarma. In fact, chicken schnitzel has become so associated with Israel that many Israeli restaurants in America have it on their menus right next to the falafel and hummus.
Many of us have tried to recreate that magical Israeli schnitzel at home with good results. But pan-fried schnitzel can sometimes feel a bit heavy, and standing over the stove babysitting a pan of splattering oil is no one’s idea of fun — especially in summer.
Enter the air fryer, which makes an amazingly light and crispy chicken schnitzel with just a few spritzes of oil instead of a whole panful. And, it’s less messy — no more oil splattering everywhere!
Because of the small size of most air fryers, you can only cook two cutlets at a time, so be prepared to work in batches. You can use the time while the schnitzel is cooking to prepare a side dish — I love a refreshing Israeli salad.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsps garlic powder
- 2 tsps salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 4 thin-cut, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, totaling approximately 1.5 lbs
- oil, for spraying
- lemon, for serving
- Whisk together the flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika on a large plate. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, beat the eggs with a tablespoon of water. Place the panko bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl or pie plate.
- Arrange the three plates in a line starting with the flour, followed by the egg, and finally the bread crumbs.
- Dredge one of the chicken breasts in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip it in the egg wash. Dredge the chicken breast in the bread crumbs, making sure to coat it completely. Shake off any excess crumbs. Place the breaded chicken breast on a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Spray the basket of the air fryer with oil. Place two of the breaded chicken breasts in the basket and spray the tops with oil. Cook at 375 degrees F until the tops are browned, about 7-8 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and spray the second sides with oil. Cook until the second sides are browned and crispy and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, approximately another 7 minutes. Remove the first two chicken breasts from the air fryer and repeat the process with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Serve chicken schnitzel hot, with plenty of lemons for spritzing.