This picture is weird because I’ve been Instagramming a lot lately (find me at lizainannarbor) and playing with apps. Sorry for any confusion. Moving on…
This little ‘ole French recipe is 100% Off. The. Hook. And I mean that in the urban slang kind of a way. You know, like, “better than good.” Closely related to Off. The. Chain.
It comes from a book that I finally own after having hijacked it from the library for a good six months. I just kept renewing…and they let me, until one day they didn’t. The book is The Bonne Femme Cookbook by the talented Wini Moranville and there’s a lot of bang for your buck there. There are oodles of recipes and stories from her many sojourns in France, which make for pleasant bedtime reading (but I’m a weirdo who reads cookbooks in bed so who am I to say?), but no photos. I don’t miss them because everything I have tried, from her Basque Chicken to her simple Fondue, has been amazing.
This springy, earthy recipe is my hands down favorite. And the rice is pretty much an easier version of risotto, without all the stirring and constant adding of broth. I don’t know if Tom Colicchio would approve (risotto seems to always get people kicked off Top Chef) but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself making it again and again. Need I wax on any further? Mais non.
Sautéed Chicken with Morels and Rice Crémeux
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 5 tbsp butter, divided
- morel mushrooms (as many as you can get your hands on)
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 minced garlic cloves, divided
- 3 tbsp flour
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tarragon and chives, chopped
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 2 1/4 cup + 3/4 cup chicken broth, low sodium
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 3/4 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, gruyère or white cheddar cheese
For the rice (do this first)
In a medium saucepan, sauté a 1/2 cup or so of chopped onion in a tbsp of butter. Add 1 minced garlic clove and sauté for another minute. Do not allow the garlic to burn. Add the rice and continue sautéing for another couple of minutes. Stir so that each grain gets coated and a little toasty. Add 2 1/4 cups chicken broth (replace some with water in a pinch, or even water with Better Than Bouillon). Season with pepper, stir and bring to boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Start checking consistency after 20 minutes. It should still be only slightly watery. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then mix in the Parmesan or any other cheese of your choice.
For the chicken
Pound out the chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness under plastic using a meat mallet or a cast iron skillet. Cut each in half. Season with salt and pepper.
In a Ziploc bag, add flour, season with salt and pepper and add mushrooms. Cut any larger mushrooms in half. Shake to coat.
In a large skillet (I love this one, I swear it makes my food taste better), heat 1 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook, turning once, about 5 minutes per side (they will finish in the sauce if they are still a little pink inside at this point). Do this in batches if your pan is not large enough. Remove to plate and sprinkle with herbs. Cover with foil.
Turn heat to medium and add another tbsp of butter along with 1 tbsp olive oil to the same skillet. Shake the excess flour from each mushroom and cook, turning as needed, until they are brown and soft. This takes 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the chicken.
If needed, add a little more olive oil to the skillet. Over medium heat, sauté the shallot for about a minute. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Deglaze the pan with chicken broth and wine. Turn up the heat and whisk, loosening any brown bits. Bring to a boil and reduce to about a 1/2 cup. Whisk in the remaining 2 tbsp butter and the cream. Add the chicken and mushrooms back to pan, cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 more minutes.
Serve with the rice and something green, such as roasted asparagus or steamed green beans.