I grew up in Winnipeg and our “special occasion treat” way back then was a family dinner at our local Schnitzel House. (Actually, back then, I think it was Winnipeg’s only Schnitzel House.) This is definitely a childhood fave…gone vegan! Grab yourself a big, crusty round bun and load it up with a Chick*n Schnitzel, tomato sauce, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and pickled jalapeno. Open wide and join me on a trip down memory lane.
1-1/2 cups (350 g) canned chickpeas
3 tbsp (41 g) olive oil
1 tbsp almond butter or tahini
1 cup (155 g) Vital Wheat Gluten
1 cup (119 g) breadcrumbs – regular or Italian flavor
1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable stock
3 tbsp (45 ml) tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp dried sage leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
Rinse the chickpeas and drain well. Add the chickpeas to your processor and pulse 3 or 4 times. Add the olive oil and almond butter and pulse in 4-second spurts until the chickpeas are coarsely mashed. You want to keep some of the texture of the chickpeas but you don’t want pieces that are bigger than a whole peppercorn. You are not going for a smooth hummus consistency. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the processor and mix the contents with a rubber spatula a couple of times during the process.
Empty the chickpea mixture into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Remove the mixture to your clean counter top and knead with your hands for an additional 3 minutes. The mixture should be slightly wet – but not at all sticky. If it’s too wet, knead in an additional teaspoon or two of the breadcrumbs. If it’s too dry, knead in an additional teaspoon or two of stock.
Tear off a golf ball sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball. With both thumbs on top of the ball gently pull the dough apart in opposite directions. If the dough has a fibrous texture when you pull it apart…you’re good to go. If it does not – knead it for another 3 or 4 minutes.
Let the dough rest, lightly covered with a clean towel for 30 minutes on your countertop.
Once the dough has rested, measure off 80-100 g pieces. Press them flat on a lightly floured countertop and, using a rolling pin, roll them to approximately 1/8” (.3 cm) thick “schnitzels”.
Set up a breading station with 1 flat bowl containing all-purpose flour, 1 flat bowl containing 2 tablespoons of egg replacer and 6 tablespoons of water – whisked together well, and 1 flat bowl containing breadcrumbs.
Place about 1/2” (1.3 cm) of grapeseed or canola oil in a frying pan and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot lightly dust one schnitzel in the flour, submerge it in the egg replacer mixture and bread it in the breadcrumbs – patting the breadcrumbs onto the surface of the cutlet with your dry hand.
Place the breaded schnitzel in the oil and cook until golden brown on the bottom. Carefully flip the schnitzel and cook until the second side is golden brown. Remove the schnitzel to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Continue until all of the schnitzel are breaded and fried.
Keep warm in a 200°F (93 °C) oven until all schnitzel are cooked.