Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Dinner: Chicken with Morels

Hi.   I know you all think I have fallen off the earth.   Not so.  My life this fall has been a whirly, crazy mess...there is a lot going on in my life right now... wedding, trip and some secret news.   All of which has been very distracting, consequently I have neglected my blog.   But, enough of all the turmoil in my life... on to food.

Those of you who know me, know how much I love Ina and there are many reasons to love her.   First, she creates (and tests) awesome recipes; second, she and her husband are so cute together I just want to run over to the Hampton's and hug them both; third, her garden and kitchen are so beautiful; and finally, she seems cool.    By the way people, she has a new cookbook coming out in a few day titled - How easy is That?.

Anyway, I love this recipe from her Paris cookbook.   It is Chicken and Morels and not for those who are dieting or on a strict budget (morels are about $14 an ounce).   But, it is a once a year fall treat that we should all splurge on.   I serve it with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Chicken and Morels
Barefoot Contessa
  • 1- ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
  • 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 (8 ounces) creme fraiche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
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 the 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 casserole.
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. To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and reheat slowly on top of the stove.

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