In the run up to tomorrow’s game (USA vs. Germany), I thought it would be appropriate to post the food that sort of characterizes the best food for both nations. When I think of American food, I think fried chicken and mac & cheese. When I think of German food I think of schnitzel and cheesy spätzle.
Waaaaait a minute, what’s Spätzle?
It’s a central European egg noodle, you can make it from scratch or if you are pressed for time you can now find it in the international aisle of the grocery store.
Having been to Germany a few times, among the many cool things about the country is the fantastic food. On the flip side, what is more American than fried chicken? Maybe apple pie, MAYBE.
The chicken schnitzel is the perfect compromise between pork schnitzel and fried chicken. What makes it more delicious to me than typical fried chicken is using breading instead of just flour & seasoning. And flattening out the meat, it helps create more surface area for deliciousness.
Recipe: (serves 2) This is longer than usual, since it has a couple of components.
Salt Water Brine Marinade:
3 Cups Water
3 Tbsp. Salt
2 Chicken Breast
2 cups of Breadcrumbs (you can toast white bread and make your own or use a store bought version)
¼ Cup of Milk
1 10” Cast Iron Skillet
1 Package of Spätzle (or you can make it yourself, I’ll attempt that someday)
1 Tbsp. of Flour
Half a stick of butter
½ Cup of Cream
1 Cup of Sharp Cheddar
Marinate your chicken in the salt water brine, DO NOT WASH YOUR KITCHEN IN THE SINK! (I don’t want you all to get sick. For more food safety check out our safety page) Safety first, people!
Marinate the chicken in the brine for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
Make yourself 3 stations using bowls. 1 bowl for the breading, 1 bowl for egg & milk mixture (just beat 1 egg and the milk together help create a binder), and 1 bowl with some water in it to clean your hands.
Lay your cutting board on a flat surface that can resist an impact. Next put some plastic wrap down, long enough to cover your cutting board. Place an individual chicken breast on the plastic wrap, and then lay another piece of plastic wrap over the chicken. Now using your meat mallet, hit the chicken until it flattens out, this will make a good amount of noise. Be careful to make sure your chicken doesn’t go flying out of the plastic (you’ll have to hold it a little).
Once your chicken breasts are flattened, they are ready to be breaded. Firstm dredge it in the egg mixture and let the excess mixture drip off the breast (yikes that sounded a little bit scintillating!). Next dip the chicken (see how I avoided using breast again, haha) into your breading mixture. Set the chicken aside for 5 minutes to let the breading adhere to the egg, if you’re running a little light on the breading, feel free to add more.
In your cast iron, add the peanut oil. Generally you’d like to have it about a ½ inch thick at least; you can play this by ear. Heat the oil until it’s just about smoking, and then carefully lay your chicken into the oil. Cook each side for about 3 to 4 minutes depending on the color of the crust. Use an instant meat thermometer to check if they are done.
While the chicken is cooking, start a salt water boil in a pot. Once it starts boiling, add the spätzle. Cook it like you would pasta. Then set it aside.
If they aren’t rather than throwing them back in the oil, just lay them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at about 300 for about 15 minutes.
For the béchamel cheese sauce, in a small sauce pan, heat the butter until it’s foaming slightly. Then take it off the burner to add your flour mixture, this will help make a nice creamy roux. Mix it together and then add the cream. Put the sauce pan back on your burner at a low heat, as you stir it once it starts to thicken, add your cheese. Keep the heat low and slowly stir it, and you should have a nice cheese sauce by the end of it.
Once the sauce is ready, add it to your spätzle and enjoy!
1 Peeled Sliced Sweet Potato
Blanch the sliced sweet potatoes in some boiling water until they are soft but still can maintain their structural integrity (big words!)
Toss the sweet potatoes in the excess oil from the schnitzel for quick sweet potato fries.