Turkey Cutlet Schnitzel and Bavarian-Style Sauerkraut
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes
Crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, this turkey is a nice change of pace from the chicken or veal cutlets that are traditionally used for schnitzel. The dish is a great match for a classic Bavarian cooked sauerkraut, which is great for its high fiber, not just its famously hearty heft and satisfying warmth. Though this is best served immediately, both the schnitzel and the sauerkraut can be stored in a covered container and refrigerated. The turkey will keep for a day but will lose some of its crispness, and the sauerkraut will keep for 5 days.
1 package (10 ounces) sauerkraut
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ small red onion, chopped in ½-inch dice or smaller (½ to ¾ cup)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth or Roasted Vegetable Stock
½ teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ head red cabbage, cored and finely shredded (about 3 cups)
1 green apple, peeled, cored and roughly cut into 1-inch dice
½ cup rice flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
½ teaspoon dried sage
1½ cups gluten-free unseasoned panko breadcrumbs
½ cup olive oil
4 large, thin turkey breast cutlets (3 to 4 ounces each) (see Kitchen Tips)
- Prepare the sauerkraut: remove the sauerkraut from the package, and place it into a fine-mesh strainer. Wash under cold running water until the water runs clear. Set aside to drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are soft, translucent, and browned at the edges. Add the vinegar and bring to a quick boil, about 1 minute. Add the broth, mix well, bring to a boil again, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the caraway and sugar and mix well. Add the drained sauerkraut, red cabbage, and apple. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes.
- Make the turkey cutlets: combine the flour, salt, pepper, and sage in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Pour the panko bread crumbs into a large resealable plastic bag and smoosh with the back of a spoon, crushing the panko into small pieces. Pour the crushed panko into another shallow bowl and line the plates up beside each other, from flour to egg to panko crumbs. Line a platter with paper towels.
- Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or large saucepan over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. While the oil is heating, dip each cutlet into the flour, then the egg, and then into the panko, pressing the panko into the cutlet so that it adheres well. Gently place a cutlet into the skillet in a front to back motion—that is, letting the tip of the cutlet touch the pan and lowering the rest toward the back of the stove so that if the oil splashes it will have less of a chance of hitting you. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, 1 or 2 at a time, so that they fit into the pan in a single layer. Cook each cutlet until it is brown on one side and turn with tongs, about 1 minute per side. The cutlet should be a rich chestnut brown, but do not let it overcook; keep in mind that it will continue cooking for a bit after it is removed from the heat. Place the finished cutlets on the paper-towel-lined platter to drain. If you are working in batches, tent with aluminum foil to keep the finished cutlets warm. Serve as soon as possible for the crispiest schnitzel, alongside the sauerkraut.
A butcher will be able to prepare turkey breast cutlets for you quite easily, so don’t shy away from asking for them if you can’t find them already in the butcher’s case or packaged.