Casey Hen-Shin Shank

This dish is not Irish, as the name might imply, but derives from the popular German “Käse Hähnchenshenkel,” which here is served “mit salbei-buttersauce.” Its German name is pronounced pretty much the way it’s written, with all letters articulated and the ä pronounced ay. So it’s sort of like “casey hen chen shenkel.” Käse is German for cheese, Hahn is rooster and -chen is diminutive, so Hähnchen is chicken, and shenkel is shank, or thigh. Salbei is sage. Say that three times—it’s fun! But my recipe is not exactly the classic one, so I Anglicized it a bit.

The Kaiserhof Restaurant in San Diego serves Käse Hähnchen, which is fried breast of chicken coated with Parmesan cheese in a paprika sauce. It is outstanding, as are all of the menu items that I have tried there. But I tend not to order chicken breast at restaurants because I am not particularly fond of white meat, which usually gets overcooked. So I make this dish using chicken shenkel and sage sauce instead. Also I lower the calorie count where I can. For those who prefer white meat, you can fix the shorter-titled version, viz., Casey Hen-Shin.

  • 2 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
  • ¼ cup egg substitute (X)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup corn flake meal
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp <butter>
  • 3 tbsp shallots, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup fat free half and half cream
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp powdered sage
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • fresh sage leaves

Flay the thighs to make them uniformly thick, apply plastic wrap over them, and pound to make them thinner, but not too thin, sort of like a veal cutlet in size and thickness.

Whisk the egg, cornstarch, paprika, and lemon in a shallow dish to mix well. Dredge the chicken in the egg mixture, and then coat with the Asiago and Parmesan cheese to form a crust.

Sauté the crusted chicken in <butter> until browned and done on each side. Alternately, put the crusted chicken in a greased baking dish and roast it at 375°F until browned on the outside and done on the inside, about 35 minutes. The sautéed version will be crisper, if you want that.

To make the sage sauce, sauté the shallot in <butter> in a small pan over medium heat until just soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, cream, and broth. Simmer until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Moisten the cornstarch it in a little water and whip it into the sauce. Continue to cook until the cornstarch thickens. Add more wine or cornstarch to reach the desired viscosity. Add the sage and lemon (do not add lemon until the starch has thickened or the cream will curdle). The result should evenly coat a spoon (you know how thick sauces should be!).

Plate the chicken thighs, apply sage sauce, and garnish with fresh sage.