Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tasty Sunday Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, I had to practice trussing and quartering a chicken for homework. I dutifully bought an organic chicken from the store and did my homework...however, had already had dinner and no time to cook it. So, off it went, carefully wrapped, into the freezer.

I remembered yesterday that the chicken was still in the freezer. I was wandering the aisles of my local Whole Foods, thinking about what to make for dinner, and craving mushrooms, and that chicken popped into my thoughts. I picked up some button mushrooms, some local black trumpets, and some dried porcinis. You can really choose whatever mushrooms are fresh at the market. Simple, yet delicious, with a side of arugula salad.

I didn't really use a recipe, so I document my steps below. You can't really mess this up, just keep tasting along the way!

1. Preheat oven to 350. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Reconstitute dried porcini with hot water and let sit. Heat canola or grapeseed oil in oven-proof sautepan til quite hot. Brown chicken pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs - bone-in, skin on), skin side down. Place pan in oven and cook til breast meat is approx 160-165/juices run clear.

2. Remove chicken from pan and let rest. Pour off fat (save the juices - use a gravy measuring cup if need be). Add a bit of fat and the juices back into pan. Add in a minced shallot and saute til tender and juices evaporate.

3. Add mushrooms, sliced, and saute til tender. Season. Squeeze porcini, slice (save juices!) and add to mushrooms. Once all mushrooms are tender, deglaze with sherry (1/4 c or so) and porcini juice (be careful of silt at bottom).

4. Cook til evaporated by 1/2, then add 1/2-1 c milk (I used more milk, as I used 2%. You could use simply a dash of cream if you'd like). Bring to a boil and cook down until sauce covers back of spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper to your liking.

5. Slice the chicken (I had removed the thigh bones and ribcage) and serve with sauce on top.

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