I try to cook as seasonally as I can. When I'm lost on what to make for dinner, I head to the store to see what looks good - what produce is new and fresh. When we lived in Concord, that usually meant going to Verrill Farm to see what they had fresh from the field (and to snack on a Cranberry Orange scone...). Here, I rely on the Brookside Market until the Farmers' Markets start up later in the spring. Last week while wondering through the store for inspiration I saw the coveted Morel Mushrooms next to the Asparagus... spring!
You might remember my post last fall about our family's tradition of hunting morels each spring - my Granny's all-time favorite. I posted about a Cream of Morel Soup I created in her memory. So, now that Morel season is upon us (... in the store at least), I'm anxious to fix some of my favorites - starting with this recipe of Pan Fried Chicken in a Morel Mushroom and Shallot Sauce. This weekend I'm going to experimenting with more recipes as my family is all getting together for a weekend of "Mushroom Hunting." I'm wondering if I can train Mr. Darcy to sniff out morels similarly to the Truffle hunting dogs in France....
Pan Fried Chicken
with Morel Mushroom and Shallot Sauce
2 pounds of chicken breast (or tenders)
1/4 cup of flour
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1/2 tablespoon of pepper
5 tablespoons of butter
2 shallots, minced
4-6 ounces (about 12 sm/med sized) morel mushrooms, halved
1 cup of white wine
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
3/4 cup of cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
If using chicken breasts, filet each breast so it is half the thickness. If using tenders they should be the correct size already.
Combine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture. In a skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
Brown chicken in the butter for 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and place on a sheet pan. Bake the chicken for 10-15 minutes in the oven until cooked through, depending on the size of the breasts or tenders.
In the same skillet in which the chicken was browned, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and shallots. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the shallots are tender, then add mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
Add white wine and sugar to the pan and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan to create a sauce with the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it has reduced slightly. Add cream and cook for 3 more minutes until it is smooth and creamy. Serve warm sauce over browned/baked chicken.
I was tempted to serve the chicken and sauce over mashed potatoes, but then I thought...
How about a Banana Cream Pie for dessert? Recipe coming tomorrow.