Chicken breasts with morel mushrooms
This recipe is very quick — about 15 minutes from beginning to end — and if you happen to have the dried morels on hand it can be made at a moment’s notice. There are many possible variations: you can use fresh mushrooms instead of morels, or dispense with the mushrooms altogether. My personal favorite involves fresh morels, but as they’re not available in the winter the dried mushrooms make a fine substitute.
The key to success in making this dish is to avoid overcooking the chicken. It should be just barely done when you add the cream. The amount of cream to use is a matter of taste — for a lighter dish, use less, or for a very light dish use none at all.
1/2 cup (15 g.) dried morels
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. butter
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1 branch thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2-4 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
Bring the water to a simmer. While it’s heating, rinse and drain the dried morels and place them in a small bowl. When the water simmers, pour it over the morels. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes. Heat the butter in a a small saucepan. When it’s sizzling add the morels, turn down the heat and cook them gently for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Open up the chicken breasts so that they lie flat. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to sizzling. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Flip and cook another 3 minutes, or until the chicken is turning golden.
Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the shallots and sauté for a minute, stirring with a wooden spatula. Be careful not to let the shallots turn brown. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Add the wine and cover the skillet loosely. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
To test the chicken for doneness, insert a fork and remove. If the juices are pink, simmer for another minute or so. If the juices run clear, it’s ready.
Add the cream, scraping the bottom of the pan with your wooden spatula to blend. Add the morels allow to heat through. Serve the chicken on its own or with rice or another vegetable. Serves 2.
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