Chicken with Shallots and Morels

Chicken with Shallots and Morels

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French food, chicken recipes, dinner, main course, mushroom recipes, morel recipes, spring food, vegetable recipes, sauce recipes, dinner party food, chicken fat recipes, schmaltz recipes, shallot recipes, white wine recipes, chicken stock recipes, whipping cream recipes


  • 3 Tbsp. rendered chicken fat (schmaltz), duck fat, or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 4-lb. free-range organic chicken, backbone removed, cut into 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh morel mushrooms
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Recipe Preparation

  • Melt 2 Tbsp. chicken fat in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining chicken fat to skillet. Add shallots and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until they begin to release liquid, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a plate. Add wine to skillet and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock; bring to a boil. Return chicken to skillet, cover with lid slightly ajar, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

  • Transfer chicken to a platter. Return mushrooms to skillet; add cream. Simmer, uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Recipe by Hostellerie Bressane Cuisery France

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 689.1 %Calories from Fat 61.9 Fat (g) 47.6 Saturated Fat (g) 15.0 Cholesterol (mg) 207.0 Carbohydrates (g) 8.1 Dietary Fiber (g) 1.1 Total Sugars (g) 3.2 Net Carbs (g) 7.0 Protein (g) 56.7 Sodium (mg) 207.9Reviews Sectiongood thing i already had schmaltz. the dried morels were $17 an ounce so I didn't want to be disappointed and I wasn't. fabulous.brushjlsolon, ohio08/01/20

Ten Easy Morel Recipes

Every mushroom lover has his or her favorite morel recipes. Whether with meats, asparagus, or plain old butter, we all have our preferred way of preparing these springtime treasures.

Below are ten of my favorite easy morel mushroom recipes. Have them with eggs for breakfast, fish for dinner, on top of pasta, or in a versatile sauce. There's something for everyone, from a simple fry to tasty stuffed mushrooms.

You can use olive oil in place of all the butter in these morel recipes. Yet if morels are a seasonal indulgence, I figure why obsess over fat and calories? Do whatever your diet and taste buds require.

Picture courtesy of Bill from Smoker Cooking, a fun site filled with many great recipes. Thanks, Bill!

Before beginning, read up on cooking morel mushrooms to learn about cleaning and preparing them.

Chicken with Morels Recipe | Mediterranean Foods

Remove the morels from the cooking liquid and strain the liquid through a fine sieve or muslin- lined strainer and reserve for the sauce. Reserve a few whole morels and slice the rest. Chicken with Morels Recipe-Mediterranean Foods-Homemade-protein-www.eatopic.com

Add the remaining cream and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon. Adjust the seasoning. Return the chicken to the pan with any accumulated juices and the reserved whole morels, and simmer for about 5 minutes over a medium heat until the chicken breasts are hot and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife. Serve at once. Chicken with Morels Recipe-Mediterranean Foods-Homemade-protein-www.eatopic.com

Chicken with morels

2) Lift the morels carefully from the hot water in order to leave any grit behind in the liquid. Rinse a few times to be sure all the grittiness is gone. Discard the liquid and dry the morels lightly with paper towels. Set aside.

3) Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the clarified butter in a large saute pan and cook the chicken in two batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole.

4) Add the rest of the clarified butter to the pan along with the shallots, drained morels and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring constantly. Pour the Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half over high heat, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes.

5) Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.

To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and reheat slowly on top of the stove.

18 Morel Recipes

Joseph de Leo

Elegant, honeycomb-like morel mushrooms are our favorite harbinger of spring. Their appeal lies not just in their earthy flavor, but in their spongelike texture and structure, which makes them perfect for soaking up sauce. Here are 18 of our favorite morel recipes.

Vin jaune, a semisweet wine from the Jura region of France, enlivens the creamy morel ragù for this dish of veal and oysters. See the recipe for Veal Chops with Morels, Wilted Lettuce, Oysters, and Garlic-Parmesan Sauce » Joseph de Leo Morels are paired with pieces of yuba, or tofu skin, to soak up a pungent black bean chile sauce and create this rich, flavorful almost-stew. See the recipe for Morels in Black Bean Sauce with Fried Enoki Mushrooms » Joseph de Leo Preserved lemon, a Moroccan staple, brightens this simple spring dish. See the recipe for Morels with Mint, Peas, and Shallot » Joseph de Leo Dried morels are rubbed onto this chicken before roasting, while fresh morels soak up the juices released during cooking for a one-two mushroom punch. See the recipe for Roasted Morel-Rubbed Chicken with Charred Lemon, Asparagus, and Potatoes » Joseph de Leo In this bright spring pasta dish of morels, asparagus, and cream, dried morels are rehydrated in boiling water that is then used to cook spaghetti, infusing the pasta with an earthy, mushroomy flavor. This recipe was adapted from Food52 by Leah Koenig for her article One Ingredient Many Ways: Mushrooms. See the recipe for Morel and Asparagus Spaghetti » Yossy Arefi This is a simple but rich spring recipe that combines the earthy quality of morels with the bright sweetness of favas. Christopher Hirsheimer In this creamy, refined version of liver and onions, from Toronto’s The Black Hoof restaurant, ethereal duck liver mousse pairs with caramelized cipolline onions and mushrooms. See the recipe for Duck Liver Mousse with Cipolline Onions and Mushrooms » Saveur Morels are a great complement for this orzo, which is simmered slowly with butter, shallots, and chicken stock and enriched with cream for a silky, risotto-like texture. See the recipe from Creamy Orzo Risotto with Meyer Lemon and Wild Mushrooms » Helen Rosner See the Recipe Russell Kaye See the Recipe Russell Kaye See the Recipe Russell Kaye See the Recipe Anita Calero Pheasant and Morel Potpie If pheasant hunting and mushroom foraging aren’t your thing, you can always order them by mail. See this Recipe Christopher Hirsheimer Wild Mushroom Pasta Here’s a secret: Because of their concentrated flavor, you only need a few dried morels and the water they soak in to perfume an entire sauce. See Recipe For Wild Mushroom Pasta » Back to 15 Spring-Ready Pasta Dishes » William Abranowicz See the Recipe Russell Kaye See the Recipe Christopher Baker

Pan Roasted Chicken with Morel Sauce

I never went to culinary school, and neither did the most important people who trained me, or the people that trained them. Instead of going to culinary school (which I’m not saying is a bad idea) I read, and worked, a lot.

The foundation of my library have always been books on classical French and Italian cooking. Some of the cornerstones are books by Jacques Pepin, who, along with Julia Child helped to introduce Americans to decent cooking in the post-WWII era where easy to prepare processed and packaged foods were all the rage.

Pepin’s books were especially useful to me as a young cook because instead of just being recipe porn, like is more common today, his early books (La Technique and La Methode) focused on a methodical, tutorial based approach. There’s golden nuggets of technique hidden in the pages of those old books.

During the past winter, I was flipping through La Methode and I came across a recipe for chicken with morel sauce. It was a really simple recipe, but there were a few things about it that I thought would be great to share with you via a slightly updated recipe. Most importantly, Pepin uses the whole chicken, a game changing idea for 2017 when plenty of people still think chicken is composed of giant, skinless, boneless breasts.

Cutting a whole chicken into 4 entree portions

To cook a whole chicken well is part of what I want to share with you here, as well as the basic morel sauce. There’s a number of different parts of the bird: leg, thigh, and breast, and each part cooks at a different rate due to varying amounts of fat, bone, and light or dark meat each part is made up of. Sure you can just throw all the pieces in the pan at the same time, but the breasts will be overcooked long before the legs are done.

The other nice part about using the whole bird is when you’re done, you end up with 8 pieces of meat, so for a dinner with 4 people, everyone gets 2 pieces: one light and one dark. Chicken is so much more than just skinless breasts.

Cutting a chicken into quarters, I like to French the bones on the breast and leg, and I remove the bones from the thigh too. Cook the pieces of chicken depending on their cooking time. First the legs, then the breats pieces with bone.
Next the thighs and the boneless breast pieces. Cook the chicken 90% skin side down to crisp it. Finished chicken pieces.

Use dried or fresh morels

Moving to the morels, Pepin uses dried morels in the original recipe, likely because the availability of the fresh at the time was probably slim to none. Interestingly, he re-hydrates the morels and discards their soaking liquid, something I would never do if I’m going to make a sauce with dried morels. Either way, know that you can easily substitute dried mushrooms here, but, it won’t be quite the same.

Keep those morels whole, if you can

Another important technique portion of the recipe here is how I prepare and trim the morels for cooking. I often see people slice morels in half, or cut them into slices or rings, which is totally fine, especially if your morels are very large like they can be in the Midwest.

When I can, I love to cut the stem down on the morels and peek inside for anything that wouldn’t be good to eat. If you can leave them whole, do it.

For me, one of the ways I enjoy eating morels the most is leaving them whole. It takes a little careful trimming and inspecting, but you’re rewarded with hollow little morel mouthfuls that get sauce soaked inside of the mushroom cavity, which is a lot more fun to eat than cutting them into pieces.

My morels were a nice, not too large size, so I love to leave them whole. Oddly shaped ones that can have debris inside I cut in half, stems I dry to flavor soup.

Lastly, the recipe, as with a lot of classic French cuisine, relies on some heavily reduced stock for building the sauce, also known as glace. You may have heard the term demi-glace before, but remember that demi means half, in this case half reduced.

What glace looks like when cold, it should be solid, free of any fat, and richly flavored.

True glace de viande (literally meat glaze) is reduced demi glace, which takes a long time to make, but is not a problem if you have a day off at home with a little free time since all you need to do is reduce homemade stock down to it’s essence. If you don’t keep a little stock of demi in your freezer, (I like to portion it in ice cube trays for easy use and then put the cubes in a freezer bag).

I don’t know if there is a better smell than a pile of morels cooking with butter and shallots.

You can make a good stock out of the chicken carcass the day before and reduce the stock gradually down to 1/2 up or so, which will be a decent approximation of the real thing, or you can just reduce a little chicken stock, it will still taste ok. Do not reach for Knorr demi-glace, powdered bouillons or pre-prepared demis, 99% of them will leave you with an overly salty, off-tasting sauce. If you must, D’artagnan makes a decent demi that you can order.

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Morel Mushroom Pan Sauce

I finally did it. I bought and cooked morel mushrooms! They are usually $28-$30 a pound in my local grocery stores, so when I stumbled upon a booth in my local farmer’s market selling a bag of freshly picked morels for $7.00, you KNOW I had to buy them! I went in search of recipes through my cookbooks and online, and I was actually going to use them in a pasta dish when I found this recipe on Serious Eats that looked irresistible. This recipe was fun to make and it was a BIG hit with all of us. I adapted the recipe a bit by using skinless boneless breasts and cornstarch instead of gelatin because that was what I had on hand. The chicken was tender and the morel mushroom sauce made this dish decadent and delicious. We all loved this recipe, especially my daughter, who thought the morel mushroom sauce was “AMAZING”.

How to Make Roasted Chicken Breasts with Morel Mushroom Pan Sauce

Adjust the oven rack to center position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Rinse and pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel then season well with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully lay chicken breasts into a hot skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip chicken breasts over and transfer skillet to the oven to roast for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

While the chicken is roasting, add the chicken stock, wine, and cornstarch to a liquid measuring cup and whisk well. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add morel mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic slivers and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk the stock/wine/cornstarch mixture well and add it to the mushrooms. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking on high heat until sauce is reduced by about two-thirds, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the butter and soy sauce and cook at a hard boil until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Taste sauce and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, if needed. Remove from the heat.

Slice the chicken breasts and transfer them to individual serving plates. Spoon sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Chicken with Morels and Sherry wine

The chicken with cream and Morels is a specialty recipe from the Franche-comte region. in this region most dishes are quite rich (hence the use of loads of cream) but also very tasty which I personally really like.

  • Ingredients: 4 chicken breast or tighs (best quality you can find)
  • 15g / 1 tbsp Unsalted butter 2 shallots finely sliced lenghtways
  • 2 pinches of Sea salt or a chicken stock cube
  • 40g Dried morels soaked in hot water for 1 hours at least (use about 200 ml /0.8 cup of water) https://amzn.to/2FNNChf
  • 100ml (0.40cup) to 150ml (0.60 cup) sherry depending on taste (I used Sherry Don jose oloroso de romate)
  • 150ml (0.60cup) of Morel juice* (*that is the water in which the Morels soaked in)
  • up 500 ml (2cups) of Double cream (heavy whipping cream)

Cooking time: Chicken breast 4 minutes on each side first in butter. then when the sauce is ready, finish to cook in the cream for 15 minute on low heat.

Put the dry morels in a Bowl and cover with a maximum of 1 cup of hot water. Add a small plate on top of the morels to make sure the morels keep underwater. leave to soak for at least 1 hour. then take the morels out press the juice out, rinse and reserve. Keep the Morels soaking juice for cooking.

  • Drain the morels, squeeze to extract as much of the soaking water as possible, reserve the water.
  • Then wash the morels under runny water to remove any sand.
  • Drain and squeeze excess water from the morels. Chop large morels in smaller size and and reserve the soaking juices for cooking.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Finely sliced the shallots lengthways.
  • Measure you sherry wine, cream

Making the recipe:

In a frying pan, melt the butter on low heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 4 minutes on each side, remove from the pan and reserve on a tray for later use.

In the remaining fat, lightly cook the shallots for a 1 and 2 minutes add the Morels in and stir well, Add the sherry wine* and leave to reduce by half, add now the Morels juice and reduce by half again. To Finish, correct the seasoning by adding either a bit of salt or a chicken stock cube in the pot, then add the cream. Turn now the heat back up to medium-high to bring the cream to the boil. when it boils leave to reduce for 10 minutes.

Once the sauce has reduced, place the chicken pieces back into the pan. The sauce must cover the chicken pieces. Lower the heat back to a simmer and cook the chicken for a further 15 minutes (it can be more or less depending on the size of the chicken pieces you are using) . when cooked,you can adjust the taste of the sauce by adding more Morels juices or sherry wine. once you are happy with the taste of your sauce, place the chicken pieces in a serving dish, cover with the sauce and serve.

Place one piece of chicken in the middle of the plate and sprinkle 5 or 6 morels evenly on the plate. then cover the chicken lightly with sauce. you can add a serve of vegetable or pasta on the plate too if you prefer then have the rest of the sauce in a sauce boat on the table as shown in the video.

Another Year in Recipes

I had a birthday recently. Though it wasn’t a biggie (didn’t end in 0 or 5), Beloved Spouse and I decided it rated a very special dinner. That meant dining at home, so he could bring out some of his special older wines to accompany the festive food I’d make. Poultry lover as I am, my thought immediately turned to game birds. Wild-mushroom lovers as we both are, the next thought was morels, since they’re in season. In one of my cookbooks I found a splendid recipe to combine them in.

Elizabeth Schneider’s Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini is a combination reference work and cookbook, with extended essays on 350 vegetables. In each chapter there are a few recipes of her own for the vegetable, plus a section called Pros Propose, in which she gives “recipe sketches from chefs (and other culinary professionals) too lengthy, complex, or exotic to include in full.” In that section of the morels chapter I found Ragout of Pheasant with Morels and Chives.

The ingredients sounded as if they’d complement each other very well, so I promptly made a shopping list and got ready for the day. Schneider’s recipe sketch had no quantities or timing, just the steps to take, but the details were easy enough to figure out for myself.

Starting in the (regrettably rainy) afternoon, I enriched a stock made from chicken bouillon cubes with carrot, onion, and the pheasant’s neck, gizzard, and wing tips. While that simmered along, I quartered my plump, never-frozen pheasant, browned it in butter, and tossed in halved shallots.

Next came a sprinkling of flour, minced garlic, white wine to deglaze, a generous batch of lightly sauteed morels, and chopped chives.

My chicken-pheasant stock got poured into the pan next, and the whole preparation had to simmer, covered, “until the meat comes easily off the bone.” That took an hour and a half – longer than I’d ever cooked so small a bird before, but it proved to be the right thing to do. Finally, I removed the pheasant and all the vegetables long enough to reduce the sauce and stir in heavy cream, and then I put everything back and heated it through for serving.

This was the best pheasant dish I’ve eaten in my life: moist, tender, delicious. You couldn’t call it gamey – this was a farm-raised pheasant, after all – but the interplay of the ingredients made it rich and intensely satisfying. The morels and the bird adored each other. And the 1998 Bouchard Beaune Clos des Mousses that we drank with it made for a happy ménage à trois.

The rest of the meal wasn’t shabby, either. Here’s what else we ate and drank:

  • For apéritifs we sipped 2004 Bollinger Champagne, along with a few gougère puffs.
  • Our first course was Coquilles St. Jacques Nantaise a dish I’ve written about before. With it, a 2004 Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches.
  • For dessert I’d made a rustic apricot tart, and the dessert wine was a 2006 Vin Santo of Chianti Classico.

We didn’t finish all those wines that evening, I hasten to say. The “leftovers” (though they hardly deserve so uncomplimentary a name) made a second stellar performance two evenings later, when we celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary with another special dinner – this one featuring oysters, a rare rib roast of beef, new peas, a potato gallette, cheeses, and a 2004 Drouhin Chambolle Musigny.

You can probably see why we choose to stay at home for special occasions like these. What a gift it is to be married to a man with a wine collection! And while, as I said at the start, this birthday was no biggie, it was a large enough number to persuade Beloved Spouse that, yes, it’s indeed time to start enjoying some of those wines. Maybe getting really old won’t be so bad after all.


12 Responses

Happy Birthday, a little late, and Happy Anniversary! What a way to celebrate both. Here’s hoping for many more, and that you continue to have the good health to enjoy the food and wine that you write about. As for pheasant, my local supplier insists that it must be cooked at a low temperature, and it sounds like that is what you did.

Bresse chicken fricassée with morel mushrooms

A real classic from the Rhone-Alps region. The poultry from Bresse has particularly well-flavored flesh. The mushroom season is the perfect time to try this dish.

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  • 1 ounce (30 g) dried morel mushrooms
  • Scant 1/2 cup (100 ml) Madeira
  • 2 1/2 chicken stock cubes
  • Salt
  • 1 Bresse chicken, weighing 4 lb (1.8 kg), cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) button mushrooms
  • 6 small shallots
  • 3 sprigs tarragon
  • Scant 1/2 cup (100 ml) Noilly Prat
  • Generous 2 cups (500 ml) white wine
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 pound 2 ounces (500 g) thick crème fraîche

Place the morel mushrooms in a bowl, cover them with hot water, and leave them to soak for 30 minutes. Drain them and cut them in half. Pour the Madeira into a saucepan and reduce it by half. Add the morel mushrooms and half a chicken stock cube. Cover with water, and leave to cook uncovered for 40 minutes over medium heat.

You must leave the morel mushrooms to soak in water before cooking them so that they rehydrate.

It’s best to cut them in half to make sure there is no grit left inside.

Salt the flesh side of the chicken pieces. Cut off the stalks of the button mushrooms. Cut the tops into thin strips.

Peel the shallots and cut them into thin strips. Rinse and dry the tarragon.

If you can’t find small shallots, replace them with two of the large ones called “chicken legs.”

This recipe was originally published in "My Best Paul Bocuse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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