This week Central Market had the most beautiful local portabella mushroom caps on display. Though I’ve never been able to pull off the portabella burger (it’s a texture thing), I absolutely love the flavor of cooked portabellas. This super fast sauce created from roasted chicken pan juices and a little whiskey was the perfect way to fancy up a Thursday night chicken dinner. Trust me, it’s magic!
When you’re roasting a chicken breast, skin and bones yield the very best flavor. It’s also very important to have your split breasts closer to room temperature before throwing in the hot oven. I drizzled and seasoned these about an hour before they went into the oven creating an optimally tender result. I’ve cooked them straight out of the fridge lots of times. Fear not, in a time crunch this won’t wreck your dinner. You simply won’t have *ideal* results. I’m led to wonder if this is what went wrong with my bone in ribeye at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT in Las Vegas – surely they couldn’t be aiming for mediocre?
As a photography aside, I am dutifully working through a Publix (grocery store generic) paprika that I picked up this summer in Rosemary Beach, FL. I kind of hate it. The flavor is fine but the color is WAY TOO ORANGE! I’ll probably throw it out soon, but take note if you use a different brand your chicken will have a slightly different color. As my mother taught me, the purpose of paprika is for coloring – not for flavor. So if it’s not serving it’s purpose, I guess I should throw it out.
Roasted Chicken Breasts with Whiskey Portabella Mushroom Pan Sauce
2 medium chicken split breasts (out of the fridge an hour before cooking if you can!)
fresh ground pepper
1 and 1/2 tbsp butter
2 large portabella mushroom caps, chopped
pan drippings 2 roast split breasts
1 c. hot water
1/3 c. Makers Mark Bourbon Whiskey
1 tsp corn starch and 2 tbsp water mixed together
Preheat your oven to 425. Place chicken breasts in a heavy bottomed saute pan. Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil, then generously sprinkle with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and paprika. Roast chicken in oven for about 45 minutes to an hour – until they have an internal temperature of 165. Remove to a cutting board to rest.
Warm a separate saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter after two minutes to melt, then add chopped portabella mushrooms. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, then brown thoroughly until mushroom water has been released and evaporated. Set aside.
Spoon off any oil gathered in your pan drippings, then add hot water to pan over medium high heat. Use a wooden spatula to scrape up the brown bits, cook until volume is reduced by half. Add whiskey, then cornstarch and water mixture. Stir continuously with spatula. Stir until slightly thickened, then add mushrooms, stir and serve immediately.