Chicken with Morels is a wonderfully tasty dish and although dried Morels are expensive, a little will go a long way.
What are morels? They are fungi just like mushrooms only they are expensive! But you only need a little. You can buy the dried morels at Amazon if you can't find any locally.
I tend to use shiitake mushrooms (as in the photo here) or oyster mushrooms when I cannot get morels. So your 'chicken with morels' will be just as good and the results are fabulous.
Ingredients (For 4 people)
4 skinless chicken breasts
6 shallots, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sparkling dry wine or champagne
3 tablespoons brandy
1½ oz dried morel mushrooms
4 oz button mushrooms thinly sliced
3/4cup thick cream
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Rinse the morels under running water in a strainer
Place them in a heavy bottomed pan with the stock and bring to the boil
Remove from the heat and leave to stand for about 1 hour
Strain the morels through a fine sieve and keep the liquid
Slice the morels but keep a few whole ones aside for later
Melt half the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and cook the shallots until they are soft but not browned
Now add the morrels and the button mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring as you go
Season at this stage and add the brandy and 1/3 of the cream
Reduce the heat and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated
Remove this mixture from the pan and keep aside until cool
Prepare the chicken breasts by making a pocket in each one - cut a slit along the thick edge but do not cut all the way through
Fill each of the chicken breasts with some of the morel mixture and close the slit - use a small toothpick if necessary
Now melt the remaining butter along with the olive oil (this prevents the butter from burning) and cook each of the chicken breasts for about 10 minutes until golden brown on each side
Arrange the chicken breasts on a warm plate and set aside
Add the wine or champagne to the pan and boil, reducing it to half.
Add the strained morel cooking liquid and boil again and reduce by half
Add the remaining cream and cook the sauce until it thickens
Taste the sauce at this stage and adjust the seasoning if necessary
Return the chicken to the pan with any juices, along with the whole morels and simmer them for a few minutes
And there you have it – chicken with morels – a thoroughly beautiful meal made in just a few minutes.
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