Fleischschnaka (Takhini River Lodge Alsatian chicken rolls) Recipe
It was Follow Me Foodie to the Yukon and I was hosted at the Takhini River Lodge which is a cozy, quaint and elegant bed and breakfast 40 km north of downtown Whitehorse. It offers an incredible view of the Northern Lights, but the food is also an unique aspect of what makes the lodge so special.
Besides breakfast and home made madeleines all day, they offer a 3 course home cooked dinner option for their guests ($49/person, must give 24 hours notice). Since it’s located 45 minutes to an hour away from downtown, and there are no restaurants around, they make it convenient for guests to eat at the lodge.
Christiane is the owner and cook at Takhini River Lodge – read my full story on her and the lodge here. It’s a “read it to believe it story”.
On Christiane’s Dinner Table
The dining area is communal and you can eat with other guests, or have your own private table.
Christiane serves a casual, but sophisticated 3 course menu made from scratch – see mine here. She bakes her own bread, makes her own dressings and sauces, and grows her own culinary herbs. She is not a trained chef, but she has taken some cooking classes in the past. It is not necessarily her passion, but she enjoys it. The recipes are either tried, tested, and true, or inspired by recipe books.
She changes the menu everyday especially if she has a guest staying more than one night. The other guest staying here for 6 nights had a different 3 course menu every night and she never got tired of Christiane’s food, which is great!
On the table:
Christiane’s Homemade Bread – She makes a white bread and a rye bread and she can accommodate gluten-free food allergies, or any other dietary concerns (given advanced notice).
They do not offer wine pairings, but they have wines by the bottle or glass for additional charge. How appropriate it was to have an Alsace wine to pair with my home cooked French dinner.
Fleischschnaka (Takhini River Lodge Alsatian chicken rolls) with gingerbread spiced cranberry sauce (see recipe below). It was served over a bed of organic field greens and blackberries with Fireweed flower vinaigrette.
Salmon spiced with cumin and ginger, in a pea sauce, with locally grown Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.
Christiane’s signature “La Crème Brulée”
The casual dinner was still more effort than what one would do on a regular night. The style is country side French with a bit of eclectic Canadian influence, and she uses local ingredients where possible. She gets most of her vegetables from her neighbour who does farming (they don’t farm at Takhini), and then everything else will be what’s available at the market that day.
She plays the menu by ear, but she does have some signatures like her creme brûlée and beef bourguignon. I like to think her Fleischschnaka is one too because that’s a regional specialty that is very rare to find outside of Alsace.
My dinner started with Fleischschnaka (Alsatian noodle rolls) which I’ve never tried before. It sounded German to me, but it is a regional specialty in Alsace, France. Alsace has German influence, so I wasn’t surprised. It is also where Christiane was born and raised, so her cooking style tends to be French countryside inspired.
Fleischschnaka is a very rare Alsatian dish to find outside of Alsace. They are referred to as noodle rolls, or “meat snail” (literal translation), and the noodle part has the texture of spätzle and doughy chewy crepes.
Traditionally they are made from leftover stewed meats and noodle dough rolled into a snail shape (roulade) and served as an appetizer. The meat can be oxtail, pork, duck, veal, or chicken, and in this case Christiane used ground chicken which caters to the majority. It is apparently comfort food in Alsace and one of those recipes every mother knows how to make.
It can be served alone or with salad like Christiane presented it. She served it with gingerbread spiced cranberry sauce and on top of organic field greens with blackberries. The Fireweed flower vinaigrette served with the salad was made with flowers she foraged herself. It had some Canadian influence and it tasted like sausage rolls, but rather than puff pastry it was doughy and eggy “noodle rolls”.
Considering most of the authentic recipes for Fleischschnaka on the internet are French, I asked Christiane if she could kindly share her recipe for Fleischschnaka, and she did! It’s a very rustic dish and almost anything goes for the meat filling, so let this just be a guide.
See her recipe for her signature creme brûlée.
Fleischschnaka (Takhini River Lodge Alsatian chicken rolls)
Serves 6 as an appetizer course.
- 2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 800g ground chicken or turkey
- 1 chopped medium onion
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup parsley minced
- ½ tsp toasted cumin seeds
- Butter and chicken stock for the frying pan
- Whisk the eggs, add salt and pour into the flour.
- Mix all together with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or by hand until the mixture is uniform.
- Using a rolling pin and minimal dusting flour, roll out the dough to a thickness of ¼ inch.
- Mix the filling mixture raw and spread it in an even layer (¼ to ½ inch thick) over the dough and roll into a log.
- Plastic wrap the log and refrigerate. Before cutting into slices, freeze the log for about one hour, so it will be easier to slice.
- Preheat the frying pan with butter and add the slices.
- Brown the slices on both sides and add the chicken stock to cover.
- It’s ready once the bouillon is evaporated and meat is thoroughly cooked. Serve it warm with greens.