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Za’atar schnitzel from Reem Kassis

An Ashkenazi staple through Palestinian eyes

By Rob Eshman | August 19, 2022

This recipe from Palestinian cookbook author Reem Kassis uses a familiar Palestinian spice to update a European dish.


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6–7 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely crushed dried za’atar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic granules
  • a few twists of black pepper
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping cup fine unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar blend
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac


  1. In a bowl, mix one tablespoon za'atar and breadcrumbs and set aside. Pour about ⅛-¼ inch of oil in a cast iron or heavy pan and warm over medium high heat. Turn on your kitchen fan. In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients very well. Dip individual chicken breasts in the egg and spice mixture, let excess liquid drip off, then coat in the breadcrumbs. When oil is hot, fry on each side until golden. Serve with a dusting of sumac.


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