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Chicken with Monterey Blend Mushrooms

003I’m having the most amazing time in the mountains and also totally kicking myself for not walking around with my camera glued to my arm.  I promise to do better.  Last night I went to a wine tasting at Tuscany [1] in Salt Lake City.  Everyone in Utah is so unbelievably friendly, and contrary to some peoples beliefs, fabulously interesting.  We sat at a table of 10 and met new people and local food purveyors.  I had a very entertaining chat with a couple starting their own wine making venture who also race yachts on the Great Salt Lake in their free time.  It’s really nice to get out and have interesting conversation over gourmet food and fine wines with total strangers.  I highly recommend it.

I had the most fabulous made by a true Italian from Piedmont.  I of course didn’t photograph it and can’t remember the name of the salami, but I’ll figure it out.  He ran out of cards so I have a name to follow up with all of his info.  I did find Central Market carries his line, so I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I’ve figured it out.

I also sampled the Promontory [2], the Barely Buzzed [3], and the Bandaged Cajun Rubbed Promontory [4] from the Beehive Cheese Company [5].  I really liked the two Promontory cheeses and love the idea of adding more lavender into my cooking.  I’m definitely inspired to make a lavender salad dressing after that burst of inspiration.  But after perusing their website, what I really want to try is the Seehive [6], and I’ll definitely be checking for that at the Park City Farmers Market [7] next week or the Salt Lake Farmers Market [8].  Check back tomorrow for my review of the Park City Farmers Market!

I actually made this dish before I left but never got around to blogging about it.  It’s based off of a Barefoot Contessa recipe, but I can never find the morels she uses, and unless I make it to certain stores, I have troubles finding the creme fraiche.  By all means, if you have the ability, get thee to a Whole Foods or Central Market or other like store and get the creme fraiche.  It  works without it, but once you’ve tasted it with, you’ll never want to go back.  I personally love this dish with fresh chanterelles, but those can be cumbersome to track down as well.  This time I made it with the dried Monterey Blend Mushrooms I can find at most any grocery in Dallas.  I would assume they could be found other places as well.  This dish is definitely rich, but I generally am not a cream sauce fan and this is just such a savory sauce.

Chicken with Monterey Blend Mushrooms – adapted from Ina Garten’s/Barefoot Contessa’s Chicken with Morels

1 oz Monterey Blend Mushrooms

3 cups boiling water

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

1/4 c. butter

2 large shallots, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 c. Madeira wine

3/4 c. sour cream

1/4 c. heavy cream, whipped

1 c. heavy cream

juice of one lemon, about 3 tbsps

Preheat oven to 375.  Pour boiling water over mushrooms and soak for 40 minutes.  Drain, rinse thoroughly, repeat.  Dry with towel to remove any remaining water, then chop finely.

In a skillet, melt 1/8 c. butter on medium low heat.  Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dredge with flour.   Brown on both sides – approx 10 minutes.  Place chicken breasts in an oven proof casserole.

Add an 1/8 c. butter to skillet, then saute shallots, garlic, and mushrooms.  Saute on medium heat 3 minutes stirring with a wooden spatula.  Add Madeira to skillet and reduce by half.  About 5 minutes.  Add sour cream, whipped cream, cream, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt and 12 turns pepper.  Boil until mixture starts to thicken and darken, about 12 minutes, stirring every minute or two.  Pour the sauce over the chicken then cook in oven 12-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.