Monday, June 21, 2010

Company is calling!

I have had little opportunity to cook lately so when I found out our friend, Alex was going to be in town, I decided the best place for dinner was our place. I turned to the Barefoot Contessa for some help and found a recipe for chicken with morels. This French dinner was a nice departure from what we usually eat during the week - frozen pizza. Below is the recipe.

1 ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 min in 3 cups of very hot water (I made the mistake of grabbing the package without looking at the price...afterall, how expensive can an ounce of mushrooms really be? Gasp!)
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 creme fraiche
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

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 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 dish.

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.


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