Chicken is the ultimate fall-back food for me. If I don't have any plans for dinner, or any meat thawed, chicken seems to thaw fast in the microwave without starting to cook, and it's usually delicious. So that's what I seem to turn to time and again. (unless I turn to mac & cheese from a box. but that is another story...)
Yesterday, I was so busy I just hadn't thought about dinner. I pulled out my Food & Wine Quick from Scratch Chicken Cookbook. This dish quickly caught my eye, and I'm so glad it did.
It's relatively easy to put together, and the results are fabulous. Indeed, we have another entry for Chicken in a Fabulous Sauce right here, folks! I will admit, it took longer than the advertised "30 minutes," but it's worth it. Just start a bit earlier than, ahem, 5:45PM...
H-Bomb loves mushrooms, so he loved this dish. He ate a second helping of mushrooms and even ate most of his chicken despite being sick! We served it with, what else, Artisan Bread for mopping up this fabulous sauce!
There are various measurements of salt and pepper added here and there throughout this recipe. I didn't measure, just added some here and there when called for...it was perfect. Measure if you must!
Incidentally, this dish is on the cover of the cookbook that I have, and I just couldn't get a pretty picture of this last night! It would have helped if I had remembered the parsley...oh well. You're just going to have to trust me that this is delicious. Again.
A French classic that never seems to go out of style, this dish combines mushrooms and chicken in a tomato and white wine sauce. The name, literally "hunter's chicken," harks back to a time when game birds and mushrooms from the woods were a natural autumn combination. Prep time: 6 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Serves 4
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 pounds in all)--I used 2 1/4 pounds of thighs because that's what I had
1 teaspoon salt, DIVIDED
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, DIVIDED
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
6 tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine (I used wine)
2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained (I used diced tomatoes)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan. (I didn't pour off anything)
2. Add the butter to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately high. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, thyme and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices. Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Wine recommendation: This earthy dish is perfectly suited to the rustic charms of a country red wine from southwestern France. Look for a bottle from one of the various appellations in that region, such as Cahors, Madiran, or Bergerac. Or simply choose a lovely Merlot! (I added that last part, can you tell?)