Friday, January 06, 2012

champagne week continues: chicken with mushroom champagne sauce

The whole reason that I opened a bottle of prosecco the other day was the overwhelming desire to make risotto, and the save the single bottle of Reisling for a time I really wanted to enjoy a hefty amount of wine (which happens ... almost never). And the risotto was fantastic, really it was. Hands down amazing, even if I wished I'd changed some things up.

However, risotto may have been the least cool thing that came out of that bottle. I quite enjoyed drinking my way through a glass (or two) of prosecco each night. It was very enjoyable, and I was shocked at how bubbly it still was the second night. Plus there's something to be said for dancing around, cooking and drinking bubbles amirite? The ultimate winner, though, was dinner yesterday. Bunny went nuts and even I was quite crazy about it.

What was so amazing? Well, everything. I kinda went crazy. We had chicken in a champagne-cream sauce. Cornbread. Roast beets, which we both adore. Homemade butter (heck yes I did). What you need, though, is this champagne chicken recipe. Unreal.

Chicken with Champagne Mushroom Cream Sauce
adapted from cooks.com

Ingredients:
  • 3 servings of chicken
    • 6 chicken thighs OR drumsticks OR
    • 3 chicken breasts
    • Note: Bunny and I did drumsticks, because it's what was on hand. I think this would be ridiculous good with breast
  • 1 cup of dry (brut) champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped (I used red, but sweet onion would have been really nice)
  • 1-2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (we used less, but it would have been better with more)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 2 tsp dried tarragon, divided
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, divided
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp (approx) olive oil
Directions
  1. Mix flour, 1 tsp each garlic & tarragon, and salt in a bowl or on a plate. Lightly dredge each piece of chicken in the flour. Set aside.
  2. Add oil to frying pan (Note: I do not recommend a non-stick pan for this. You want all the carmelized bits.), turn heat to medium. When pan is hot, add chicken to pan. Brown on all sides, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. When browned, remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add garlic and onion to pan, cook until translucent about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms to pan. Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp each tarragon and garlic powder over mixture. Saute mushrooms until softening and getting some lovely brown colour.
  4. Add champagne (etc) to pan. Vigourously stir to deglaze. At this point, add chicken to pan, reduce heat slightly (to medium low) and cover. Let cook approximately 15-20 minutes.
  5. In 15 minutes test for doneness. I like to take the temperature and always recommend this. I also tend to pull the chicken off a few degrees early. When done, remove chicken from pan.
  6. The champagne sauce should be fairly reduced, thicker and nice and bubbly in the pan. Delicious. At this point, add your milk and let it quickly simmer for a few minutes, stirring.
  7. Plate your chicken, spoon over sauce, ENJOY!
Notes:
  • Bunny went crazy over this. One of the best meal reactions I've had in a long time, and that is saying something.
  • I used milk because a) it's what I had and b) I didn't want to add a million calories to my sauce. If you want a richer sauce, go for the cream.
  • Spices: we're garlic lovers here, so there's always garlic (often in multiple forms). Tarragon we just enjoy with mushroom. Again, if you're eating this spice it to YOUR TASTES.

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