I usually cook the family a big Mother's Day brunch, but my mom is not much of a morning person. So this year, I asked Mom: would you prefer a brunch or dinner? She picked dinner. And she requested Chicken with Morel Mushrooms, a dish I've made a few times now, for family celebrations. She and my sister also requested Chocolate Guinness Cake for dessert--click here for that recipe.
Here's the recipe I used for the Chicken with Morel Mushrooms. It comes from Ina Gartner, aka the Barefoot Contessa. This is a heavy, rich dish--one to enjoy on occasion. I am not always willing to shell out the $20+ for dried morels, so I used a dried mushroom medley instead. You could use fresh mushrooms if you don't want to bother with dried.
- 1- ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 1⁄4 cup clarified butter
- 1⁄3 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 1 cup Madeira wine
- 1 cup (8 ounces) creme fraiche
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lift the morels carefully from the hot water in order to leave any grit behind in the liquid. Rinse a few times to be sure all the grittiness is gone. Discard the liquid and dry the morels lightly with paper towels. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the clarified butter in a large saute pan and cook the chicken in 2 batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole.
- Add the rest of the clarified butter to the pan along with the shallots, drained morels, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring constantly. Pour the Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half over high heat, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.
- To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and increase cooking time to approximately 30 minutes, or until heated through.
- I don't use clarified butter--I just don't have time to deal with that. Instead, I add a tiny bit of olive oil to the butter before cooking the chicken.
- Serve with rice and veggies--check out tomorrow's post for a yummy green bean idea from Cooks Illustrated.