If you are using chicken breast, cut the pieces in half horizontally. Try to make them evenly thick. Skip this step if you are using veal or pork cutlets.
Using a meat tenderizer/mallet, pound the pieces of meat from both sides to an even ¼” thickness. Season your meat on both sides with salt and pepper, if you like.
Gather 3 shallow bowls big enough to lay the pieces of meat in them. Put the flour in one, the beaten egg in the second, and the breadcrumbs in the third.
Working one piece at a time, dredge the meat first in the flour (shaking off any excess), then in the eggs, and then in the breadcrumbs. Set aside. Repeat with remaining pieces.
Preheat a pan or skillet. Add enough oil that you have about ¼” in the pan or skillet.
Working in batches if necessary, fry the schnitzels in the hot oil until golden brown on one side. Flip and fry on the second side until golden-brown.