Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chicken with fancy mushrooms (or not) in a creamy sauce

Have any of you ever used chanterelle mushrooms? I work near a small family-owned market and one day heard one of the butchers rave about how much he loves these things and every year when they're in season he sautees a boat-load of them in butter and eats them just like this.  Okay, never having tasted them before, I hesitated (they cost a whopping $17-$20/pound!) but finally bought some when they went on sale the other day.  I ended up making this recipe in two with fancy mushroms and coconut milk, the other with cheapos and whipping cream.  I liked both versions, but preferred the whipping cream recipe.  Below is a picture of the recipe made with coconut milk, and the picture at the bottom of this post is with whipping cream.  I may get chastized for admitting this, but while I thought the chanterelle's were tasty indeed, I didn't think they were worth repeatedly paying that much for them.  Enjoy!

5 chicken drumsticks (why? they're cheap, but you could use any other piece of the chicken, you would need to adjust cooking time though)
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms, cut in half (chanterelle or shiitake and button mushrooms)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
salt and pepper
1/2 can coconut milk or 1/2 cup whipping cream
tiny pinch of saffron** if using coconut milk, for whipping cream I used 1 tablespoon taragon
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Season the drumsticks with salt and pepper.  In a large saute pan heat the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add in the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add in the drumsticks and toss the onions around so the chicken hits the surface of the pan, not the onion.  Cook for 2 minutes on each side and then pour in the coconut milk and add the pinch of saffron, if using (if using whipping cream, don't add it in yet).  For both versions, add in the mushrooms now and cover, cooking another 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

*If using the whipping cream, follow the recipe as above, but do not add the coconut milk. Add in the mushrooms and tarragon after cooking for 2 minutes on each side of drumstick, cover and cook another 10 minutes.  Then once the chicken is just done, pour in the whipping cream and cook, uncovered, another 2-3 minutes to heat up the cream and bring it all together.

I ate this chicken along with a spoonful of the sauce, on top of a bed of fresh spinach leaves and a little chopped avocado.  I also added a small handful of pistachios on top of the whipping cream version for a change in texture. 

**If you are not familiar with saffron, I would just make the recipe as is and forgo it.  The recipe will taste great without it.  Saffron give off a bit of an earthy flavor that some people don't like, plus it's expensive also.  I'd hate you to spend $8 on a little jar of it and not like it!

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