Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chicken Breasts in Mushroom Cream Sauce

"Babe, hear me when I say: this is the best food I've ever put in my mouth." Maybe Adam's biased but if I'm being honest it was pretty freaking delicious. Even when playing the which-is-better game for Adam it beat out lasagna and jambalaya (which is a big deal). This easy and flavorful chicken dish is a sure to be a winner on your dinner table. This a dressed up and delicious way of using up (boring) chicken breasts. The cream sauce is out of this world delicious, full of rich buttery flavor it acts as the perfect accompaniment to chicken. About two bites into my chicken I may (or may not) have filled a drinking glass up to the brim with the extra sauce and literally drowned my chicken and mashed potatoes. It really was that good. This recipe comes from Julia Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1 (Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons), I made a few minor changes and loved the outcome of this dish. Serve the chicken breasts with buttered green beans and mashed red potatoes - with plenty of extra mushroom sauce to around. Enjoy!

 Chicken Breasts in Mushroom Cream Sauce 


For the Chicken Breasts:
4 chicken breasts
1/2 lemon, juiced 
Salt and Pepper, to taste  
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot 
1/4 pound diced or sliced fresh mushrooms
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth 
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste 
3 tablespoons freshly minced parsley
Begin by heating oven to 350 degrees. On a large plate squeeze half of a lemon over chicken breasts and rub to cover, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In a large oven proof pot or casserole dish (a dutch oven would be ideal here) melt butter over medium high heat and add shallot cooking for a moment, add mushrooms and a little sprinkle of salt, cook for two minutes until fragrant and tender. When mushrooms have cooked down add chicken breasts, pushing mushroom/shallot mixture to the middle of the pot, placing the chicken in a part of the pot that's bare. Quickly sear the breasts on both sides until a nice golden color is developed, about 1 - 2 minutes per side, don't worry about cooking them through, the sear is just to help develop flavor and keep the breasts from drying out in the oven. Once the chicken is seared cover the pot with a lid and bake in pre heated oven for 20 - 30 minutes, until the chicken registers 160 - 165 on a meat thermometer or is no longer pink in the center. 
Remove chicken to a plate and tent with foil, while making the sauce. In the same pot over medium low heat sprinkle in the flour and stir to absorb the butter. Add the chicken broth and the cream and bring to a boil, the mixture will thicken slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley. Taste and adjust accordingly. Serve immediately with sauce spooned over the chicken.  

* The portions of this dish are easily adjustable it's written to serve 4 but can be halved or doubled depending on how many you're feeding. 

*Any kind of fresh mushrooms can be used - I happened to have a large portobello cap in my refrigerator so I removed the stem and diced it up before adding it to the pot. You could use small cremini mushrooms cut in half or even sliced button mushrooms.  

*If the sauce is not thick enough whisk 2 tablespoons of flour together with a little water to form a runny paste. Add a little at a time to the sauce whisking to incorporate, while it's still over heat the will sauce bubble and will become more thick. If it get's too thick add a bit of cream till you reach your desired consistency. Make sure you adjust for seasoning.

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