For the Chicken Schnitzel

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano

For the Pretzel Buns

450g strong bread flour
7g salt
7g instant yeast
30g softened unsalted butter
1 tsbp honey
250ml milk
2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
course sea salt

For the Sauce

3 heaped tbsp mayo
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp capers
salt & pepper

Cook Notes

BBQ Used: Kamado Joe Classic II

Cooking Method: Pretzel buns – Indirect, Chicken Schnitzel – Direct in Lodge cast iron skillet

Fuel used: Kamado Joe Big Block Charcoal

Cooking Temperature: Pretzel buns – 190-200c, Chicken Schnitzel – medium to high direct heat

Making the Pretzel Buns

The first thing to prepare are the pretzel buns as they need to prove before we can bake them. Add the flour, salt and yeast to a mixing bowl. Warm the milk in a saucepan or in the microwave until lukewarm (not boiling) then add the honey to the milk and mix until dissolved. Add the softened butter to the flour then turn on your mixer on a low speed with the dough hook attachment then slowly add the milk mixture until the dough comes together. When the dough has formed, increase the speed of the mixture and knead the dough for around 10 minutes until it has a smooth surface.

When ready, dive the dough into 4 equal portions and form them into dough balls. Place them on a lined baking tray and prove them for around an hour or until they have doubled in size.

When the buns have risen, fill a medium sized sauce pan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the water then boil each bun for 20-30 seconds on each side to form a skin. Remove each bun from the water and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray. Allow the buns to cool for a few minutes then score a cross on the top of each one. Brush the buns with a beaten egg and sprinkle on some course sea salt.

Setup your BBQ for indirect cooking at a temperature of 190-200c and place the tray in the indirect zone. Close the lid and bake the buns for around 25-30 minutes until they have puffed up and are a golden brown colour on the outside. You may need to rotate the baking tray halfway through the cook to ensure an even bake. When ready, allow them to cool on a wire rack.

Making the Dijon & Caper Mayo

Every great burger needs a great sauce to go with it and this one is no exception. This may not be a traditional burger sauce but it pairs up beautifully with the chicken. Add 3 tablespoons of mayo to a small bowl then add the ground coriander and Dijon mustard. Before adding the capers, use your knife to chop them down a little so they mix through the sauce and release all their flavour. It’s nice to leave a few chunkier pieces in there too.

Add the capers to the sauce and give it a mix together. Have a taste at this stage before you season with salt and pepper. I found it needed a good grinding of pepper and just a pinch of salt but you can adjust this to your own tastes.

Pop the sauce in the fridge until you need it – job done!

Making the Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel is simple to make but the one key tip is to not have your oil too hot. It should be hot enough that your chicken fries but not so hot that it is smoking. Take each chicken breast and make a slice across it to butterfly it out. Place it inside a ziplock bag and pound it out as thin as possible without it falling to pieces.

We are using a traditional breadcrumb technique of flour, egg and breadcrumbs but we are going to season the flour with some spices. Add the flour to a bowl and add all the spices (with the exception of the dried parsley – this is for the breadcrumbs) and mix it together. You can add a few other flavours in there if you wish but this is a great starting point. In another bowl, crack open your eggs and beat them. Finally add the breadcrumbs to a third bowl and add the dried parsley and voila – you have a production line.

Pre-heat your cast iron skillet with about 1/2 cm of oil in it until hot but not smoking. Add your first piece of chicken to the flour and ensure it is completely coated as this will help the egg stick. Move the chicken from the flour to the egg and coat both sides. Hold up the chicken for a few seconds to allow as much of the excess egg to run off as this will help with a crisp coating when frying. Finally, add the chicken to the breadcrumbs and press down on both sides to get a nice coating all over. Shake off any excess then add the chicken to the skillet. Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown and crisp.

The chicken is too thin to probe for temperature but by the time the breadcrumbs have taken on colour, the chicken will be more than cooked through. Once all your chicken is ready, it’s time to bring it all together as a burger

Building your Burger

Slice open your pretzel bun and spoon on a generous helping of the sauce onto the bottom bun. The chicken schnitzel will be too big for the bun so I like to slice them in half and stack them on top of each other. You could slice the chicken into strips but it makes it a little trickier to eat. Add a slice of your preferred cheese ( as longs as it’s plastic burger cheese ) and top it off with a few pickles. Slather the top bun with more of the sauce and place it on top – perfection!