Chicken with Morels

Morels have just popped up in our farmers market, and I hope they’ve made it to yours, too! If you want to do something besides the usual breaded-and-fried approach, try this simple yet immensely delicieuse way with the fungi. It was inspired by a restaurant in Alsace, France, where I enjoyed a similar sauce served over a veal chop. By all means, bring on the veal if you’re so inclined, but chicken works beautifully to let the once-a-year treat really shine. I enjoyed this recipe last night–and loved it. Let me know what you think.

Makes 4 servings

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

1. Place chicken breasts, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until 1/4 inch thick. (Or butterfly, or slice in half horizontally). Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until no longer pink inside, turning once (reduce heat to medium if meat browns too quickly). Transfer chicken to a platter; sprinkle with herbs. Cover with foil and keep warm.

3. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour with the salt and pepper to taste. Add morels, a few at a time, shaking to coat lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil in the same pan in which you cooked the chicken. Cook over medium heat about 3 minutes or until tender and browned, turning as needed; add to a platter with the chicken breasts.

4. Add shallots to pan; sauté briefly. Carefully add white wine and chicken broth to pan; stir with a whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil; let boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time; add 1 tablespoon cream. Cook until desired consistency. Season sauce to taste with additional salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken breasts; serve.

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9 comments to Chicken with Morels

  • Hello Chezbonnefemme,
    I know what you mean, Us morel enthusiasts can hardly wait for the spring. I�ll be back to check in with your webpage again. Fab Info on mushrooms.
    Keep up the posts!

  • Miiko Anderson

    Tonight I made your chicken and cepe dish with your special rice. My entire family loved !!!

  • Sharon Holt

    I read your cookbook “The Bonne Femme Cookbook” (pretty much cover to cover) this past weekend. Sunday evening I made the “Chicken with Morel Sauce,” – though I did substitute a combination of fresh cremini and dried chanterelles mushrooms (what I can find locally in central Maine – we’re somewhat ingredient deprived here). The dish was absolutely delicious. I prepared the “Lamb Daube with Mustard, Herbs, and Wine” yesterday for supper tonight – per your suggestion of letting the flavors meld and mellow. The “sneak peak” taste after the braise yesterday was awesome. Thanks for your recipes and sharing your experiences.

  • Wini

    Sharon, thanks so much for your thoughts. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book. I think your substitutions were a fine idea–you’re obviously thinking like a “bonne femme,” as French home cooks always substitute what they can get their hands on for something they’d otherwise have to chase down on the Internet!

    Good to hear from you.

  • Sharon Holt

    We had the “Lamb Daube with Mustard, Herbs, and Wine” last night with very new/extremely delicate carrots from the garden and boiled potatoes. Another memorable evening around the table.

  • Wini

    So glad to hear it! Thanks. Tonight’s meal for me was a grilled ribeye with my Tabbouli and my White Bean Salad (with tarragon, black olives, and shallot).

    I made a “radish butter” to top the steaks–shredded radish (they’re really hot right now!), softened butter, salt and pepper. It as a winner!

    Thanks again for the report, Sharon!

  • Sharon Holt

    Wini: Made a (quartered) roast chicken and prepared a batch of your “Red Wine, Vinegar, and Shallot Suace pour Deglacer.” Another “keeper” recipe (and my husband won’t eat anything with vinegar in it)! Looking forward to trying more of your concoctions.

  • Beverly Speight

    Made chicken with morels (shiitakes) last night. It was absolutely wonderful! I just finished ordering your cookbook too! Can’t wait to try more recipes. Even my husband “who doesn’t like mushrooms,” ate every single bite.

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