Schnitzel with Risi-a-bisi (rice and peas)
This was Eva’s birthday meal when she was a child, cooked in her grandmother’s house in Bratislava, in Slovakia. She teaches it to her youngest grandson Nicholas, at his home in Sydney. It can be made with either chicken or veal. In Europe, they made it more often with veal. In Australia, for reasons of cost and quality, Eva prefers chicken.
- 1 kilo chicken breasts
- 2 eggs
- some water (or milk, if you are not keeping kosher)
- salt and pepper
- Clean the chicken slices and pat dry. Slice diagonally. . If they look too thick, then a meat mallet comes in handy (also a good job for people in a bad mood!) You want thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick
- Beat the eggs with water or milk. Season with salt and pepper. EVA’S SECRET: Do this in a food processor. It makes the egg wash smoother and richer, and the schnitzel is better padded on the outside, leaving it more moist on the inside.
- Prepare three bowls: Plain flour, beaten egg, breadcrumbs. You can add ingredients to the crumbs to vary the taste eg garlic salt, paprika or grated parmesan cheese.
- Dip each slice of chicken 3 times: first into flour, then egg, lastly bread crumbs.
- Fry in hot oil, till golden, turning over once. It doesn't need much time. About a mimute each side.
When ready, serve with lemon wedges. Lightly salt, if you wish.
Ingredients - for the Rice
- 1.5 cups of Arborio style rice
- 1 onion, chopped
- pinch of salt,
- 2-3 spoons oil
- 3 cups stock, or water
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
- Chop onion. Lightly heat oil, add onion, stir till golden. Add raw rice and salt. Stir until rice is GLASSY looking.
- Pour stock over rice all at once, then cover. When liquid has been absorbed, taste a grain. If it’s not tender enough, add a little more stock – but only a little – and repeat; wait for it to absorb and taste again. Better to add too little and do it twice than add too much and spoil the rice.
- Lastly pour in a cupful of fresh, or frozen green peas. Cover and allow to simmer on very low heat for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off when the rice is ready, the peas will continue cooking in the accumulated heat.