Friday, September 26, 2014

Chicken Bitki

My mother-in-law's specialty, chicken bitki (schnitzel) is really good. I'm not even comfortable giving away this recipe to the public . Anyway... try to make it - I'll tell ya, it's a good stuff :)

Blog's Category: International, My Staple Food, USSR-era Recipes


Word "bitki", translated from russian, means "those bitten or pounded". Pieces of chicken in this recipe are pounded prior to cooking. That is where Chicken Bitki comes from. Or we could call it schnitzel although, in my life on the "other side",  as schnitzel, we called pounded beef patties. Close enough, right?

As I said, these chicken schnitzels, are my mother-in-law's specialty. They are made for grandkids,  they are made for holidays, they are made for long travels in our car when we go on vacation to an ocean. Occasionally,  they are also lovingly passed from grandma's house to ours for dear grandkids as a yummy grandma's treat. Well.. they are delicious and worth all the labor you put into cooking it.  Just stick to the recipe exactly!

What is it?

Flat, pounded down, chicken breast pieces are dredged in a flour and whipped (in a very special way) eggs. Then they are fried on a skillet into wonderful chicken bitki.

Taste Description

Juicy inside, with a crunchy crust on outside, bitki have that great natural chicken flavor, as good as it gets. Just hint of garlic flavor and black pepper are not overwhelming, rather supporting the leading ingredient - chicken meat.

How to Serve/Store

It's the best when served right away, of course, when they are at its prime - juicy and crispy. 
They keep well in a fridge for several days and are very lovely:
- inside of your to-go sandwich 
- or cut in strips and thrown on a top of your garden salad. 
- Also you can reheat them in a toaster (to renew that wonderful crunch on outside) for your weekday dinner.

Chicken Bitki (or Chicken Schnitzel)

For about 20 medium size schnitzels:
  • 5 chicken breasts
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 small garlic cloves
  • 1-2 cups flour
  • oil for frying (light olive oil)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
- To get uniformly sized bitki, cut chicken breast exactly as shown on my pictures below. My chicken breasts come without tenderloin part so I had 4 schnitzels out of 1 chicken breast. If your chicken breasts have tenderloin part, you will have 5. FYI, tenderloin located on the inner surface of chicken breast, it's easily identifiable and easy to separate literally by hands.

- Using flat side of mallet, pound chicken pieces into flat patties about 1/4" thick.

- Rub flattened chicken pieces with grated garlic and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.

- On a large plate, pour your flour and set aside.

- Separate egg yolks from whites. In a large bowl, whip whites thoroughly until firm picks.
Them add yolks, one by one, while continue whipping. 

- Place all three - chicken pieces, flour, and then whipped eggs, next to your stove. Pour about 4 tablespoons of oil into a large skillet and hit it until it's hot but not smoking.

- Dredge chicken schnitzel, first, in a flour, then in eggs, let excess of eggs drip back to a bowl for a second or two and then place your schnitzel onto hot skillet. Your whipped eggs will separate into liquid part on a bottom and foam on a top - no worry, just dip chicken all the way to the bottom to pick on both, liquid part and foam.

-  Fry schnitzels on both sides on a low-medium heat - oil around chicken has to sizzle happily (not crazy), without splattering oil around.

- Fry in batches, add some oil when needed. If after second batch it's too much burned stuff on your skillet, wipe it out with a dry paper towel, add oil and continue to fry. Enjoy!

To divide chicken into 4 pieces: cut off the end of chicken breast first (on a picture, at the left). Then cut off thinner part of remaining piece. You will end up with the most thick part of chicken breast - slice it into two thinner pieces (exactly what my knife is doing above).

Before pounding your chicken, cover them with plastic wrap to avoid salmonella guys flying around your kitchen table...

Finely grate garlic.

Chicken, seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper.

happy sizzling...

can you see this wonderful porous crispy crust?

..and can you see here how juicy it is inside? Enjoy!

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