the schnitto, it’s rights of passage, and the coming of the chicken parmy

An actual chicken parmigiana


“Can you please post a chicken parma recipe to your blog? It can be one of the best pub meals when done with a bit of love, some fresh ingredients, proper ham & a bit of pride in your sauce. I have eaten one too many piss poor attempts at parmas & I’ve had it up to my cakehole. Typically they consist of a dried out lump of grey chicken flavoured gristle that’s spent more time in the freezer than on the chook. I think it is then given to the dishy who chucks it on the floor and grinds a handful of bird’s eye breadcrumbs into the ‘meat’ with his doc martens. The sauce took me a while to figure out, but I think I have it nailed now- a geriatric labrador with tuberculosis coughs some bloody spittle onto the breadcrumb mix. This is the only logical explanation for the flavour & colour of said sauce. It is left under the fridge for a day or two to attract as much roach shit and body hair as possible, before going into the deep frier for at least 6 hours. It is then transferred to a cauldron of dirty socks and boiling hobo sweat for a week. The chicken is removed, left to go stone cold then plated with a mound of pale and flaccid chips that are hot enough to give Satan blisters, as well as some oily lettuce that smells like rotten squid. This has been my parma experience of late & it is ruining my pub lunch. Like the dickhead I am I keep ordering it in the vain hope of being served the real thing, which is now only a vague memory… please help restore my faith in this eternal staple.” Scott

I feel your pain Scott, I really do. I also enjoyed your use of adjectives. I’m not sure about your chosen career path but I can definitely suggest creative writing for 9 nine olds… see how you go…

I think the essence of a good schnitto is a good schnitto, so that would most likely be a good start for the parmy, too. And maybe giving an eff would help as well.

Now, if I may deviate from the subject a little, I have noticed all to often that ordering a meal in a pub or club means one or a combination of the following;

  1. you have decided you are happy to eat actual shit at this time
  2. you were raised by a group of hobos who fed you with scraps from the rubbish dump, and quite frankly this is the closest you get to nostalgia
  3. had someone remove your tastebuds and left them at the door
  4. you’ve stolen a large metal letterbox and put that in the cavity where your stomach would normally lie

And I think this comes from a nasty complacency that is a beacon to downward spiralling cooking careers like the siren would entice the passing ship into the jagged reef. It comes from less than average training and the idea that it is “just pub food”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying you can’t get a bad meal in an expensive restaurant. See, I work at a pub restaurant at the moment but I have a small pee-pee… no… advantage because I got myself some good training from people who gave a fuck and one man in particular who taught me to stand true to my morals, consistency was the key, and to always do things the best I can with what I’ve got… damn, I sound like Forrest Gump right now.

And because it is a cheap pub meal that has fed thousands of overweight bastards around the country for years, and those aforementioned overweight bastards want their big ol’ cheap parmy to wash down with their beers and give them enough energy to find their work truck parked out front in the sea of utes with toolboxes and wheel barrows on the back, and they’re teaching the next generation to want the same.

And as for the burning hot flaccid chips… well that’s just a metaphor for the burning hot rash around a limp penis. Believe it or not, crisp chips seem to be a really hard thing to achieve. They are as rare as an erection for the red rash penis.


Anyway, to make the parmy I think we need some basic, good quality ingredients. Just in case you haven’t got that by now…

Get some schnitzels from a quality butcher who gives a shit. You’re local guy eh. Or even better, crumb your own*

Get a good quality tomato sauce of some description. I’m not talking rosella either. You need a pasta sauce. Or make your own with the recipe that follows

A ball of mozzarella cheese

Grated pecorino or parmesan

Veg or some other oil suitable for frying

…and then put it under the grill
…and then take it out when it is all brown and bubbling
  • Pour oil into a large pan so it comes about 1cm up the sides. This is so we can shallow fry this bitch!
  • Heat it over a med-high flame. Don’t be temped to use a high flame cos all sorts of bad shit can happen then
  • Once it is ready (drop a few breadcrumbs in there, they should sizzle to the surface), put your schnitzel in and fry for 2 minutes each side. Remove a drain on absorbent paper
  • Now for the schnitzels transformation into the beautiful butterfly that is the parmy, you need to get your grill on. Now.
  • Season the schnitzel
  • Lather the schnitzel with tomato sauce like you were lathering up your best friends mum with edible body soap
  • Top that with a couple of 5mm thick slices of mozzarella, and a good hit of pecorino**
  • Get it under your grill (cheese side up. I wish I didn’t have to say stuff like this) for1-2 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly
  • Have it with a some potato salad or coleslaw or nothing to avoid chippy disappointment

Tomato sauce

500ml tomato sugo (sieved tomatoes)

1 brown onion, fine dice

2 cloves garlic, fine dice

white wine, a splash for the sauce and the rest to drink in the park with your hobo mates (see point #2 way up the top)

1 stalk of basil


  • Sauté the onion on a low heat, when it starts to soften add the garlic and cook out for a few minutes
  • Deglaze with a splash of wine and then add your sugo
  • Simmer on a low heat for 30ish minutes
  • Season
  • Take off heat to cool, add the basil (stalk and all… psycho)
  • That is your tomato sauce. Pretty easy, eh. Use it for pizzas and pasta too
eat the heck out of that, yes? We had ours with pickled cumber and leaf salad, and onion rings. Eff yes. I repeat, eff yes


* don’t be scared to chuck a few herbs or maybe some grated parmesan through the crumb either. And if you want it to be gluten free, try blitzing cornbread for an amazing GF crumb. And you know what they say, “chicken and corn and a raging horn…”  We’ll pick this up again later.

And make it from the thigh. That baby is always gonna be moist and tender.


**also, don’t be afraid to try other toppings here;

  1. Cheesey béchamel sauce instead of mozzarella
  2. Get some ham, or bacon, or salami in there
  3. Melting onions and taleggio
  4. Mushrooms, thyme and ricotta. Whoa back there, I think we’re getting a little crazy now
  5. Puttanesca salsa – diced tomato, olives, red onion, capers and anchovy with some kind of cheese

4 responses to “the schnitto, it’s rights of passage, and the coming of the chicken parmy”

  1. Funny enough it is possible to do a bullshit good parmi without the schnitzel, for those veg loving type.
    Eggplant cut as thick as an old wooden plank, and salted either side for 10 mins, lightly rinsed, then patted dry. Fryed both sides till the middle is just falling apart and mounted with the sweet, sweet goodness of grazzas tomato sugo, Booom! Were in business

  2. Dear Chef,

    I am all for the schnitty, but I really do like the sound of a good edible body soap. Like Scott with his disdain for current crumbed chicken and sauce offerings, I find that my edible body soap experiences have been lacking of late and I was hoping that you might have a good recipe. It doesn’t have to be soap per se, but it could be something equally as foam inducing which won’t upset my delicate tum tum when consumed.
    I am not a big fan of sweets, so I like my edible body soap to be of the savoury nature. I’m not fussy really, just not the tripe flavour.
    If you can’t think up a nice edible soap recipe, then I guess a nice easy creme caramel recipe would do just as nicely. Make it an easy one, as I am blonde. And gorgeous. And your best mate’s mum.

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