French Recipe for Morels: Chicken with Morels

Chicken with Morel Cream Sauce. Yes—the morels are the star.

Chicken with Morel Cream Sauce. Yes—the morels are the star.

Yesterday, I taped a food segment with French chef David Baruthio on our local Great Day morning program. He made a gorgeous dish of salmon and morels. Even better, he left me a few morels to take home.

Au Renard Prechant. A classic Old World the Old world.

Au Renard Prechant. A classic Old World restaurant….in the Old world.

What I love about David giving me some morels is this: Many years ago, I dined at a wonderful restaurant in Strasbourg, France, called Au Renard Prechant. I had a veal chop with morels that I will never, ever forget.

Years later, when chef Baruthio told me he was from Strasbourg, I asked him if he’d ever been to Au Renard Prechant.

“Oui,” he said. “My father used to own it.”

Small world, n’est-ce-pas? The restaurant has long since passed from his father’s hands, but I love the fact that here in amerique profonde was the next generation treating me to some morels….
PS: If you want to see David in action, skip below this recipe to a link to video showing him making a fresh morel-asparagus salad. Oh my!

Anyway, here’s what I did with the lovelies that David gave me:

Chicken with Morels
Makes 4 servings

There’s a little more butter and cream in this dish than I use in most of the recipes in my book….but methinks that morel season calls for a little indulgence.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 lbs. total)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound fresh morel mushrooms, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chervil and/or and chives

1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour; shake off excess four; set aside.

2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon the butter over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium. Add the morels; cook about 3 minutes or until tender and brown, turning as needed; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a plate in a warm spot.

3. Add the olive oil to the pan. Add chicken and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly brown.  Scatter the shallots around (not on top of) the chicken in the pan. Let the shallots cook for about 30 seconds. Pour the wine around (not on top of) the chicken; stir the wine and shift the breasts around and loosen any browned bits underneath the chicken.

4. Let the chicken simmer in the liquid until chicken is done (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). This should take about 5 to 7 minutes more. Do not turn the chicken–you want to keep the top of the chicken dry so that it looks enticingly brown. If liquid reduces too much before the chicken is done, add a little water to the pan.

5. Remove chicken from the pan. Continue to boil the wine until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream; cook until desired consistency. Season sauce to taste with additional salt and pepper.

6. Slice the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces and place on four serving plates. Spoon morels and sauce over chicken breasts, sprinkle with the fresh herbs, and serve.

More links you’ll love:
Any-Night Baked Rice: The side dish to serve with this recipe.
•  Salmon with Morels: A recipe from David Baruthio on
David Baruthio in his kitchen demonstrating a Morel Salad dish.

Chicken with Morels by adaenn.
Au Renard Prechant.


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