Season the veal cutlets with salt and pepper. In two separate baking pans, spread the flour and bread crumbs. In a third baking pan, using a fork, lightly beat the eggs with the cream. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
In a large skillet, the deeper the better, heat the oil until quite hot. Put the parsley in a strainer, dip it into the oil, and fry for 10 seconds. Remove the strainer, draining well, and transfer the parsley to a small plate.
Dredge 1 cutlet in the flour, patting off the excess. Dip in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the pan. Coat lightly with the bread crumbs. Do not press the crumbs onto the veal.
Add the butter to the skillet. Add the cutlet to the skillet and fry over high heat, gently moving the skillet in a circular motion to cover the cutlet with fat, until the breading looks bubbly and is starting to brown, about 1 minute. Turn and cook for another minute, swirling the skillet. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the schnitzel to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, adjusting the heat as necessary so the coating cooks gradually and evenly, without burning.
Transfer the schnitzels to a warmed platter or plates. Top each with a lemon slice and some fried parsley. Serve with the preserves.
Serve with: A salad like Potato and Cucumber Salad cuts the richness of the fried meat. Sautéed potatoes sprinkled with a little chopped parsley are also a good pairing.
Perfect golden schnitzel can be a work of art. Or it can be the worst dish of your life, more like a piece of lead. When I showed my chef de cuisine how to make Wiener Schnitzel, he thought it was a mistake. The thin slices of veal were coated with a breading so delicate it almost floated on the surface of the veal. Here are the tricks I teach all my cooks.
The classic meat in a Wiener Schnitzel is veal, usually top round or loin. I prefer the top round cut, because it is a little juicier. The very white milk-fed veal doesn’t have enough flavor. You don’t have to worry so much about tenderness, because the veal is pounded. To pound cutlets for schnitzel, make sure all the membrane, or silver skin, is removed. Lay 1 cutlet at a time between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, or put in a heavy 1-quart plastic bag, and whack with a mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy skillet to an even thickness. You can trim away any ragged edges.
To save a little time, the cutlets can be pounded ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Take care when beating the eggs: Adding a tablespoon or two of heavy cream makes them fluffier. Using a fork, beat only until they are slightly loosened but still somewhat thick. The less you beat, the better they will envelop the veal cutlets and then create a puckery crust with more volume when fried.
Be sure to have enough bread crumbs to dip the cutlets into, and turn each cutlet so it comes away coated, without having to shovel or pat the crumbs on. Everything is put on very gently, at the last minute. The Turks used to put gold leaf on their meat; in Austria, we use bread crumbs and turn them into gold.
Your skillet should be 2 inches deep. I like cooking schnitzel in both oil and butter. When the butter melts and browns, you get a delicious nutty flavor.
The fried schnitzels can be kept warm in a 250 degree oven for up to 10 minutes.
Recipes courtesy of Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna: Recipes from Cafe Sabarsky, Wallse, and Blaue Gans by Kurt Gutenbrunner with Jane Sigal. Published by Rizzoli, 2012.