Fried Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich

A mile-high Montreal specialty.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    3 hours


By Stacy Adimando

Updated on February 16, 2022

Raegan Steinberg, co-owner of Arthur's Nosh Bar in Montreal, calls her partner chef Alex Cohen an “everything and the kitchen sink kind of cook.” His piled-high creation, called the McArthur Sandwich (named for Raegan’s late father), is a crispy breaded chicken schnitzel seasoned with Montreal steak spice and served on challah toast. Toppings include sweet honey, salty dill pickles, and vinegary iceberg slaw. The secret to the hearty schnitzel breading? Instant mashed potato flakes.


For the chicken:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 6 oz. plain full-fat yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. Montreal steak spice (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste, divided
  • 14 cup grated yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large chicken breasts, halved crosswise, each piece pounded ¼-in. thick
  • 8 oz. uncooked instant mashed potatoes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 12 cups bread crumbs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 12 cayenne pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 12 lemon

For the sandwich:

  • 12 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. chile paste, such as Israeli schug
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • pinches kosher salt
  • pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
  • 2 whole pickled chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • Softened unsalted butter
  • 8 ½-in.-thick slices of challah
  • Honey
  • Kosher dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise


Step 1

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, steak seasoning (if using), 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the onion and garlic. Add the chicken breasts, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 24 hours.

Step 2

In a large bowl, whisk together the instant potatoes, 1 cup of the flour, the bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. In another large bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, remaining salt, and black pepper to taste. In a third large bowl, beat the eggs with 1 cup of the buttermilk marinade from the chicken until combined.

Step 3

Make the chicken: Coat one of the breasts first with the flour mixture, then in the egg, then with the potato-bread crumb mixture, packing the crumbs onto the meat to adhere. Transfer to a plate by the stove and repeat with the remaining breasts.

Step 4

Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and set it next to the stove. Into a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, pour the oil to a depth of 3 inches and attach a deep-fry thermometer. When the temperature reads 350°F, add two of the breasts and cook, turning once, until golden, crisp, and cooked through, 3–4 minutes per side. Transfer to the rack and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining breasts. Squeeze the lemon over the 4 fried breasts.

Step 5

Make the sandwiches: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and schug. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper; spoon two tablespoons of the vinaigrette into a small bowl and set aside. To the medium bowl, add the lettuce, pickled chiles, and shallot, and toss to coat. Set the three bowls aside.

Step 6

Generously butter both sides of each challah slice. To a large cast-iron skillet set over medium heat, add 4 of the slices and cook, turning once, until browned and crisp, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining slices.

Step 7

Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over 4 pieces of the challah (one side only). Place the breasts on top, then drizzle with honey to taste and the reserved vinaigrette. Top each chicken schnitzel with 1 cup of the slaw, the pickle slices, and finally the remaining slices of bread. Slice the sandwiches in half, and serve.

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