Forgotten recipe: Taste of Europe with Henk’s Hungarian Chicken

(Photo by Mark Davis)
(Photo by Mark Davis)

Tucked away in an unassuming corner on Blackwell Street, you’ll find a neighborhood institution that defies the traditional restaurant curse. Since 1991, Henk’s European Deli and Black Forest Bakery has been serving up all the flavors you’d find abroad, from herring to schnitzel to leberkase.

It was the culinary brainchild of Henk Winnubst, who grew up in Holland working in delis. After 30 years with the famed Kuby’s Sausage House, he set out on his own. Winnubst decided to resurrect the old Black Forest Bakery, a European sweet shop that was run by the Dreyfuss family for years on Northwest Highway until it closed in the mid-1980s.

He took their original concept and expanded it to include full meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He kept the flavors mostly traditional with a few American spins, like the German burger. Henk’s traditional Hungarian chicken dish has been served for decades, and remains on the menu today. It’s a classic that, like the deli, stands the test of time.

First published in the Advocate in 2000, the recipe can be served as a sandwich and makes a nice chicken salad when cut into small strips on a bed of salad greens.

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Henk’s Hungarian Chicken
serves 4

4-6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:
1 cup water
1 cup butter, melted and clarified
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon of each of the following (adjust to taste):
Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, garlic salt, white pepper, sugar

Mix all ingredients for marinade.

Place chicken in shallow dish and pour marinade over.

Let chicken marinate for at least 24 hours.

Pan-grill in a little butter, using some of the fat from the marinade to brush onto the chicken to keep it moist while cooking.

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Sprinkle on more salt and pepper to taste while cooking, and more paprika for color.

Cook until done through but tender, and serve with classic sides such as potato salad and sauerkraut.


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