Friday, October 7, 2016

Beschwipster Huhn

     German Style Drunken Chicken!
     Drunken Chicken is a traditional German recipe that is very easy to make.  Chicken leg sections or thighs can be used to make Beschwipster Huhn, so this entrée is cost effective too.
     Dry red wine is traditionally the first choice for making German Drunken Chicken.  A half of a bottle of wine is used to make this entrée, so it is best to choose a cheap table wine that is palatable.  I used a $4.00 bottle of French Beaujolais Nouveau to make the entrée in the pictures.  A splash of sherry rounds off the gentle flavor of the fresh gamay grape varietal wine.
     There are many ways to make spaetzle.  Thin spaetzle that is scraped from a board into hot water is one style.  Another style is a loose spaetzle batter that is poured through a perforated strainer.  Spoon-drop spaetzle is a home style method that requires no special equipment.
     Spoon-drop spaetzle tend to be large, just like the spaetzle in the pictures.  Spoon spaetzle are kind of like spoon dumplings and they do not really fit the literal translation of the word spaetzle, which is "little sparrows."  Even so, the spoon-drop version is finished by pan frying in beurre noisette and seasoning with salt and pepper, just like traditional spaetzle.  When the spaetzle fry in butter, they soufflé and puff up!

     Spoon-Drop Spaetzle:
     This recipe yields 1 large portion.  (About 1 cup)
     The spaetzle can be made while the drunken chicken slowly simmers!  Spaetzle can be boiled ahead of time, but they are best when pan fried in the hot beurre noisette just before serving.
     Step 1:  Place 1 large egg in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of milk.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
     Add a little bit of flour at a time while, stirring with a whisk, till a thick spaetzle batter is formed (about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup).
     *The batter should be a little thicker than a pancake batter.  The batter should be thick enough to slowly pour off of a spoon.
     Step 2:  Chill the batter for 20 minutes.
     Heat a large sauce pot of water over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Bring the water to a simmer.
     Adjust the temperature so there are no signs boiling on the surface of the water.
     Step 3:  Use a spoon to stream thick bands of the spaetzle batter across the surface of the hot water.
     *Do not stir!  The spaetzle will sink to the bottom of the pot.
     When the spaetzle noodles float to the surface of the hot water, then they are ready.
     Step 4:  Scoop the spaetlze out of the water with a fryer net.
     Place the spaetzle in a colander to drain off the water.
     Set the spaetzle aside or chill them for later use.
     Step 5:  *The spaetzle should be finished with butter just before serving!
     Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Let the butter cook till it turns a golden brown color and a hazelnut aroma can be noticed (beurre noisette).
     Add the prepared spoon-drop spaetzle to the hot butter while gently shaking the pan.
     Lightly season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Sauté and gently toss the spaetzle with the butter.
     Sauté till till the spaetzle puff up and a few golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 6:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the spaetzle on a platter and keep them warm on a stove top.

     Beschwipster Huhn: 
     This recipe yields 1 hearty entrée.
     Step 1:  Select 2 chicken leg sections.
     Cut the sections into leg and thigh pieces.  (Leave the skin on.)
     Step 2:  Heat a brazing pan or wide sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1 slice of smoked bacon.
     Sauté till the bacon is almost crisp and the fat renders.
     Remove the bacon and set it aside.
     Step 3:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to the pan.
     Add the reserved chicken legs and thighs.
     Sauté the chicken pieces on both sides, till a few brown highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Add 2 thick slices of shallot.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1/2 cup of chopped onion.
     Add 4 thick carrot sticks.
     Add 4 thick celery sticks.
     Sauté till the vegetables start to become tender.  (Stir the vegetables often, so they do not brown.)
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Drain off most of the excess grease.
     Step 6:  Return the pan to medium heat.
     Add 3/4 cup of beef broth.
     Add 1 pinche of rosemary.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground sage.
     Add 2 spice cloves.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 7:  Chop the reserved cooked bacon strip and add it to the sauce.
     Step 8:  Mix 1 tablespoon of flour and 1/4 cup of cold water together in a small bowl to make a slurry.
     Add a little bit of the slurry to the broth at a time while stirring, till the broth becomes a very thin sauce consistency.
     Step 9:  Add 2 1/2 cups of dry red wine.
     Add 1/3 cup of sherry.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.  Stir occasionally as the sauce heats.
     Step 10:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pan with a loose fitting lid.
     Slowly simmer the chicken pieces in the red wine sauce, till the chicken is tender.  (About 1 hour)
     Step 11:  Remove the lid from the pan.
     Remove the carrots and celery and place them on a plate.
     Keep the plate warm on a stove top.
     Step 12:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin consistency that can glaze a spoon.    
     *The yields should be about 1 1/4 cups.
     Step 13:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Place the chicken pieces on top of the carrots and celery.
     Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a container.
     Pour a generous amount of the thin the red wine sauce over the chicken and onto the plate.
     Serve with spaetzle and sliced bread on the side.
     Garnish with a parsley sprig.
     Beschwipster Huhn is perfect for the autumn season!

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