Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tastes Like Chicken, but Better

This tastes like chicken because it is. But I figure everyone needs an extra way to cook up some yard bird, and this is one of my favorites. Cara's brother learned this recipe in culinary school, and I now pass it along to you. You'll need some butter, a shallot, some shrooms, a couple of tablespoons of flour, a cup of Chardonnay (which is a dry white wine for the uninitiated), a cup of heavy cream, and two cups of chicken stock. The stuff that comes from a box is fine.

Funny story: we used to attend a church in Houston where everyone brought a pot luck dish of some sort for after the service. It was really cool- everyone brought their A-game, and there were quite a few really good cooks. I usually brought something totally out of the ordinary (for them) like curries or some other Indian fare.

One day I brought this, and I thought a fight was gonna break out over who got to lick the pan. I became a far bigger rock star that day at church than I ever had been when I was actually playing in a rock band.

The next Sunday a lady asked me for the recipe, and when I told her there was, gasp, white wine in it she really had no idea how to react. She said something along the lines of, "I couldn't buy wine- I wouldn't feel right about going down that aisle at the store." To which I replied something incredibly witty, but can no longer remember. But I'm here to tell all you fellow Calvinist Credo-Baptists that read this site (all three of you. Or less)- there's flavor in those there bottles. And you don't have to drink them. Although I do recommend it. But that's just me. I used the following for this post, but use whatever you like. You know, if you like wine. Or even if you don't, cause it just ain't French without both butter and wine.And while I'm showing you pictures of stuff, this is a shallot, which you absolutely must use:Those are mushrooms in behind it. And that's our sweet new cutting board from Kohl's underneath it. Again, in case you care.

Anyway, throw some butter in a pan and get it medium hot. After seasoning with salt and pepper, dredge your boneless, skinless, usually flavorless chicken breasts though the flour. You just want a light coat so they'll get the right color. The flour also becomes fond in the pan which adds to the flavor of the sauce, and this sauce makes church ladies fight if you do it right. And that's a sight to behold. They'll look like this:
After tossing them in the butter you must leave them alone. You want them to be golden brown and delicious. You are not allowed to touch them for a long time. You can probably cook up to six chicken breasts this way and still have enough sauce, but you can always add more of the sauce ingredients to make more if you've got a lot of starving people camped out at your house, sucking the life's blood out of you. After the chicken has firmed up nicely you have my permission to flip them. The first side should look like this:
When the second side looks like the first, take them out and start making the sauce. The sauce, my friends, is what writes the songs that makes the whole world sing.

Add your diced up shallots and mushrooms to the pan and cook them down for 3-5 minutes. Then add one cup of the wine. Scrape the brown bits out of the pan while the wine is reducing (and thus concentrating the flavor). It'll take a few minutes, but it's where you want it when it looks like a thin coat of liquid in the pan. Like this:Now add the chicken stock, and reduce it down to about a quarter of what you started with. Then add the cream (turn the heat down a touch) and simmer it for about five minutes- it'll start to thicken up nicely. Add the chicken back to the pan to warm though. Then spoon some sauce on a serving plate and put the chicken on top of the puddle. Take a picture:Add something green to the occasion and open something to drink. Your choice!

1 comment:

Tim Beshel said...

Greg and Cara made this dinner for us the other night and its the best chicken dish my wife and I have ever had, bar none! It is delicious, the sauce is indescribable! Thanks again guys, we loved it!