Friday, November 4, 2011

Chicken With Morels

My girlfriends and I go to this great gourmet food sale a few times a year. The last trip we made, I came home with some dried morels. The first thing that came to my mind was The Barefoot Contessa's recipe for chicken and morels that I had seen years ago and always wanted to try.

So I finally made it and it was to-die-for. Not diet-friendly in the least but worth every calorie. I added a 10 ounce bag of sliced cremini mushrooms to my sauteeing morels; I can never have too many mushrooms in a dish. I also went easier on the salt than Ina did but man was it tasty.

Chicken With Morels

Total Time:
1 hr 16 min
6 min
30 min
40 min


  • 1 ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1⁄4 cup clarified butter
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 cup Madeira wine
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) creme fraiche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

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.
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 2 batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole.

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 (I used a little less to begin with and then seasoned to taste afterward), and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper.
Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. 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.


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