Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recipe: Chicken with Mushrooms (gluten free)

Chicken with mushrooms served with rice and a salad

I had a job in the great north woods working as a cook for a spell.  I liked it a whole lot. It was there that I learned this recipe from my boss Mitchell. I've been tinkering with it ever since.

At the lodge at Alaska Wildland Adventures we called it "Chicken Champignon," which is French for "mushroom chicken." Whatever you call it, this is a very tasty recipe.

Sliced mushrooms sauteing in cast iron
This recipe takes about an hour all-told, and you can do much of the work up-front and hold the final baking until just before dinner.

It involves breading and sauteing chicken breasts, and then covering them with a mushroom white sauce to bake in the oven.

They get another coat of sauce before serving to make things extra-delicious. This meal is great with a green salad and a rice pilaf.

This is a gluten-free rendition, but you can simply use wheat flour if you don't mind the gluten.

Ingredients
  • 8 chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness 
  • oil
For the dredging mixture
For the sauce
  • 1.5 x recipe of Gluten Free Basic White Sauce (about 1 3/4 cups white sauce)
  • 1 pint (16 oz) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced to 1/4 inch thickness
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • granulated garlic (to taste) 
Procedure

You can do several parts of this recipe at once: sauteing the mushrooms, making the white sauce, and sauteing the breaded chicken. Then it all goes together in the oven.

Begin by making the white sauce according to my very clear, sensible, and lucid directions.

Gently saute the breaded chicken breasts
While the white sauce is developing, pound out the chicken breasts. This is an optional step, but it makes for a more tender dish.

The idea is to even out the thickness of the breast so that the thick parts are cooked to a safe temperature before the thin parts are as tough as rubber. The thickest part of each breast should be between 1 inch and 3/4 of an inch thick.

To saute the mushrooms, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, and then toss the 4 tablespoons of butter into it.

Once the butter has melted, add the sliced mushrooms and saute them until they are soft and delicious (pull one out from time to time to try 'em). This will take about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and let the mushrooms rest until the sauce is ready.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

To cook the chicken, heat two medium cast iron skillets on medium heat. As the skillets are warming, combine all ingredients for the dredging mixture and mix thoroughly.  Once the skillets have heated for 5-7 minutes, add oil to about 1/8 inch thick in each pan. Dredge your chicken breasts, and place them in the skillet to saute. You'll cook them for only a few minutes per side—just enough to attach the breading. They'll finish cooking in the oven.

When you've got a stable white sauce, add to it the white wine, sour cream, and sauteed mushrooms. Taste it. It should taste fairly bland. Begin adding salt, pepper, and granulated garlic until it tastes outstanding. You'll add more salt than pepper or garlic.

Place the sauteed chicken into a 9 x 13 inch casserole pan (or anything else that's big enough and oven-proof, including a large cast iron skillet). Pour about half the sauce over the breasts, and then place them in the oven to cook.

They will probably cook for 15-20 minutes, but to be sure measure them with an instant-read thermometer. The thickest part of any breast should register at 165 degrees F.

When the breasts are cooked, remove them from the oven and serve immediately with a fresh coating of mushroom sauce over them.

2 comments:

  1. Ha! When you were working as a cook in the north woods for a spell, did you not like it that much, and one day the axe just fell? Great first line for a recipe. Your website is very cool!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The axe eventually fell... but not because I didn't like it! Thanks for the compliments!

    -Derek

    ReplyDelete

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