Two foods I love are mushrooms & red wine. Sadly, the love of my life doesn’t share my affection for these things. So in these gray days when I was looking for a pick-me-up meal to make for myself when the husband was at work, I decided to combine these flavors and treat myself to a lovely meal of sautéed chicken over asparagus with mushrooms and a red wine sauce.
This time I decided to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n… and take pictures of each iteration of this dish…. So here we go!
Why the slow down? No, I’m not going to be the next Pioneer Woman with process pictures; I simply don’t have the patience for that. But I was thinking about how during the Christmas season, a time when we should be slowing down and reflecting, the world seems to wind up as we rush through stores, parties, and decorations with alarming speed. Often the next item on the to do list, the next phone call, the next gift to buy, or the next step in the meal can distract us from what is happening right now. I’ve been reminded lately that the people in our lives will feel more loved this holiday season if we have more to give them because we’ve been loved and cared for as well. So this is my little exercise I’d like to share with you: pick an evening this holiday season (maybe even say no somewhere to make it happen) and do something just for you… and at the end of the evening brainstorm one way to demonstrate love tangibly to someone else before the new year is upon us. I think you’ll end the evening more full and ready for Christmas than if you ate yourself silly at a potluck.
Ok, done with my Christmas reflections… Back to your winner winner chicken dinner!
2 chicken breasts (pounded to equal thickness if necessary)
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 mushrooms sliced
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 stick of butter, cold and cut into chunks
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Snap the woody stems off the bottom of your asparagus and arrange on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.
Drizzle the 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper over the asparagus, tossing lightly to coat and then laying the spears out in a single layer on the sheet.
Roast the asparagus in the oven for about 10 minutes (more if you don't like them still crispy, like me)
Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, then sprinkle salt and pepper over them and finally dredge them through the flour, shaking any excess off.
Melt the 1 tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons oil in a frying pan until the oil is bubbling.
Saute the chicken until both sides are a golden brown and cooked through.
Once the chicken is done, drain off most of the oil and then sauté the mushrooms in that pan until they are all brown.
As for the sauce, toss the shallots, garlic, wine and vinegar into a small saucepan and boil for 4-5 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.
Whisk the cream into the sauce and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
Turn the heat to the lowest setting and add the pieces of cold butter into the sauce one at a time, whisking until each piece is full incorporated before adding the next piece. The sauce should be smooth and velvety. Just keep it over the low heat for a bit if it doesn't seem thick enough for you.
Assemble the dish in this order and you can't go wrong: asparagus, chicken, mushrooms, and sauce.
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