Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken with Slow-Cooked Mushrooms

I am a huge fan of shiitake mushrooms, and marveled at the plump, meaty ones in Suzie Wong's delectable Wild Mushroom Trio entree. Unlike my usual way of slicing and quick-cooking most mushroom preparations, Wong's kitchen presented them whole.

When making this dinner with organic chicken breast and shallots, I tried keeping the mushroom pieces larger -- whole for the smaller ones, cut in half if they were larger than a couple of inches in diameter -- and turning the heat down when they entered the pan.

I liked the result.

Recipe: Chicken Breast with Slow-Cooked Mushrooms
Serves 2

2 small, organic chicken breasts, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper
2 T olive or canola oil
1/2 cup finely diced aromatic vegetables (carrots, onions, shallots or any combination)
1 cup chicken broth, divided
2 cups whole or thickly sliced shiitake mushrooms

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken on one side until golden, then turn and brown on the other side. Remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
Reduce heat to medium. Add aromatic vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, cover, and continue to cook until vegetables begin to tenderize, about 3-4 minutes.
Stir in mushrooms and remaining broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pan again. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Return chicken to the pan, spoon sauce and mushrooms over the chicken, and cover again. Cook until the chicken has heated through -- exact time will depend on how thick your chicken is, but it should be no more than another 5 minutes. Chicken breast can easily be overcooked, so be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the chicken feels firm to the touch but still has some "give" in it.
Adjust seasonings as needed, and serve immediately.

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