Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicken with Mushroom Gravy

One of my favorite things when I was pregnant with my son, Graham, besides fried cabbage with bacon (crazy pregnancy craving) was chicken with mushroom gravy. I love making one pot/pan dishes. I love earthy ingredients for Fall menu planning. Here are the ingredients:
{2-3 cups chicken broth}
 1/2 a large onion
 3 monster portabella mushrooms
 morel mushrooms

Two to four quite large chicken breasts.  Oh, and butter. Please don't ever forget the butter. It would be a crime. The first step here is to pour a bowl full of chicken stock and reconstitute the morels. While they are soaking in that lovely liquid, chop your onion.

In a large saute pan, please pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the pan on medium heat. Once they melt together, dump in your onion slices and a sprinkle of salt. Cook them until they are translucent. Chop your mushrooms while the onion is cooking. You CAN use other mushrooms {buttons work just fine} but I love the texture and earthy flavor in portabellas so much. 
Add the portabellas and 2 tablespoons of butter to the onions. It's okay. It really is. Also, sprinkle a layer of salt and pepper on the mushrooms. Let them cook until they absorb the moisture and brown a bit. {It should take about 3-5 minutes.} Next we'll add the bowl of chicken stock and morel mushrooms. Your pan will be nearly full at this point. Don't worry. We have plans for that.
before reconstitution
after reconstitution
Intriguing process. They look like tiny sponges. They also turn the chicken stock quite brown. Don't be afraid of that. There's a flavor explosion awaiting.
 Turn your heat up to medium high and let the mushrooms and stock simmer for 5-10 minutes. If you like, add a splash {up to about a 1/4 cup} of white wine. You want the liquid to reduce.
It's time for the chicken to join the party. Let it simmer for 5 minutes on one side.
See the cooking magic happening? The pink turns to white and creeps up the sides of the chicken. Time to flip the meat and let it be smothered in mushrooms.
If you hate mushrooms, you pretty much will want to run screaming from the room at this point. This dish clearly wouldn't be for you. However, if you adore mushrooms, the smell at this point in the recipe is just phenomenal. Let this simmer for another 5 minutes.
Hubba hubba!  At this juncture, pop the whole pan into your 350 degree oven for 15 minutes JUST TO BE SAFE. Thick chicken breasts very seldom cook through on a simmer without becoming tough. There's a place for toughness, but it's definitely not supposed to be found on a plate. Remove the chicken from the pan after it comes out of the oven and prepare the gravy. Ready for the secret ingredient? It's super fancy.
Okay. So, it's not fancy. But it's easy. Open that bad boy up and dump the soup into the mushrooms.
Stir until it's all blended very well.
This is the part where you hear the Hallelujah Chorus. Serve this over mashed potatoes and your men folk will kiss your feet and call you a goddess. Maybe they won't, but they will moan and tell you how much they enjoyed this dish. Unless they hate mushrooms. In which case, I've got nothin' for ya'.

*There is an alternative choice in this recipe if you're not so much about gravy.  One of my OTHER very favorite ways to serve these ingredients is to omit the soup step and serve the chicken with sauteed mushrooms {You'll have to drain the stock for this version after the chicken and mushrooms come out of the oven.} and caramelized onions. THAT will set ya' free, now.


Vicki said...

Oh, wow. This looks SCRUMPTIOUS! I love mushrooms. Will have to try this.

Domestic Empress by Design said...

It'll set ya' free, then.

Sandy Krout said...

Will be trying this soon!!

Sandy Krout said...

just made this for the second time now. :)

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