Jägerschnitzel is a classic German dish where a thin pork cutlet is fried and bathed in a rich mushroom sauce. It is usually accompanied by egg noodles or Spaetzle-a German egg noodle-like dumpling. This is my husband’s favorite dish to order at the Munich Haus (Local German restaurant). I call it “almost” because I make it at home with chicken–Perdue sells thinly sliced chicken breasts which are perfect for this recipe. I have purchased thin-sliced pork cutlets, but then are often never thin enough and I always end up tearing the meat during the “pounding” process. Therefore, I stick to using chicken. Also, you can never have enough “chicken dinner” recipes.
Ingredients–for the Mushroom Sauce:
2 Tbsp of olive oil (additional 1 Tbsp, if you are finishing the sauce another day)
1, 8oz package of sliced mushroom
1 medium shallot sliced
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1/4 tsp of sweet paprika
1/2 tsp of Worchestershire sauce
3 turns of the pepper mill, about 1/2 tsp of fresh cracked black pepper
1 and 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/ 2 cup chicken stock
Salt to taste.
Heat oil in a pan and add the mushrooms and shallots. Saute for a few minutes and once the mushrooms and shallots start to soften, add thyme and paprika. The most important tip for this step is not to add salt. Salt draws out liquid from the mushrooms, which will result in steamed mushrooms and not browned mushrooms!
Saute for 3-4 minutes on medium and then add the black pepper and the Worchestershire sauce.
Continue to saute till the mixture has reduced, and the mushrooms and shallots and soft and deep brown in color.
At this point, you can stop the cooking process and store the mushroom mixture. I will sometimes do this if I see that the mushrooms are going bad in the fridge. If you choose to stop at this step, empty the contents into a food storage bowl. Add 2 tbsps of water to the hot pan and scrape off all the delicious bits and pieces. You don’t want to miss out on the flavor, just because you are prepping ahead of time. Add the pan juices to the storage bowl, cool, and store in the fridge.
When you are ready to make the sauce, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and re-heat the mixture. If you are not re-heating the mushrooms, proceed to the next step.
Add flour and stir continuously till the flour is incorporated and the mushroom mixture
looks very “dry”. Add chicken stock and reduce to a simmer.
Continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom. Taste for salt. This is the first time you are adding salt. I like to this at the very end becasue worhestershire sauce and chicken stock all bring in a little bit of salt. Continue this process for an addition 2-3 minutes till most of the liquid evaporates and it turns into a thick and rich gravy.
I forgot to taka picture, but if you look at the plated food, you will get an idea of what the consistency should look like
For the Schnitzel:
Super thin chicken cutlets–use pork cutlets for the real deal !
Bread the cutlet with egg and breadcrumbs. I like to season the egg wash with salt and pepper and I use Italian breadcrumbs.
Fry cutlets in a pan till golden. If you are making the the sauce and the spaetzle at the same time, you might want to fry the cutlets and store them on a wire rack in the a 175F oven–this will keep the cutlets warm and the wire rack will prevent the cutlets from getting a soggy bottom.
Ingredients–for the Spaetzle (original recipe from Tyler Florence)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp of butter
1/2 Tbsp of breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp of chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. The dough should be smooth, tacky, and thick. Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a simmer. To form the spaetzle, pour the dough into a potato ricer.
Hold the ricer over the simmering water and slowly push the dough through the holes. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spaetzle floats to the surface, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Dump the spaetzle into a colander and give it a quick rinse with cool water. It can stay in the colander for about 10-15 minutes, while to finish up on the sauce and fry the cutlets.
Once you are ready, heat butter in a pan (I usually, do this in same pan that I used to fry the cutlets) and add the dumplings and the breadcrumbs. Toss in the butter, on high heat for a quick 2-3 minutes, till the spaetzle is light golden and crispy.
Garnish with parsley and they spaetzle is ready.
Plate up a huge pile fo the spaetzle, with a schnitzel on the side and drench the two with the mushroom sauce.