Wiener schnitzel, beloved of gambolling nuns, is one of those dishes that’s mysteriously more than the sum of its parts. With the honourable exceptions of chicken kiev and scotch eggs, I haven’t eaten much breaded meat since leaving school, yet somehow, this simple classic, like its Milanese cousin, manages to be both elegant, and utterly satisfying. After this week, it might just be one of my favourite things. Veal is the traditional choice in Vienna itself, though in the countryside, cheaper, more widely available pork is popular. Wiener schnitzel can, of course, be made from almost any meat that comes in pieces large enough to fit the bill, and I do try a chicken schnitzel from New York Times food writer Melissa Clark, more for her slightly unusual method (of which more later) than for any hope of culinary revelation from the poultry itself. Of all the schnitzel I try, it reminds me most of the children’s menu; chicken just doesn’t have the same depth of flavour as pork or veal.
Cut the veal into steaks, about as thick as your finger. Dredge in flour. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Coat the veal with egg mixture, then with bread crumbs.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry veal until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve Wiener schnitzel warm.