I bought a small stewing chicken at the grocery store and was in the mood for a nice braise. Even though summer isn't necessarily the best time to be cooking anything at length on the stove. Ah, but at midnight, when the temperature has cooled and the world is silent, a comforting stew of French Chicken with Mushrooms in Madeira Cream Sauce served with mashed potatoes seemed just the thing.
This recipe is the cheaper version of chicken with morels from Ina Garten/the Barefoot Contessa, which I stumbled upon via Alicia of Posie Gets Cozy. I used a combination of portobello and crimini mushrooms, although if you can afford morels, by all means use them. I substituted a few dollops of sour cream for the creme fraiche, although yogurt would work too if you wanted to lighten up the recipe. Because let's face it, a recipe that calls for butter, cream, and creme fraiche is way too rich and heavy for me. A lightened up version was much better for my pocketbook and my tastebuds.
French Chicken with Mushrooms in Madeira Cream Sauce
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's Chicken with Morels in "Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home."
For about 4 servings, you'll need:
1 1/2 lbs or 1/2 chicken or 4 pieces thigh and drumstick or 4 breasts
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
Olive oil for pan-frying
4 large shallots or 1 small onion, small dice
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Madeira wine
2 cups cream, half and half, or milk, depending on how much fat you want to add
4 oz creme fraiche, sour cream, or yogurt
A few sprigs of fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 tblsp lemon juice
Sprinkle 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper over about 1.5 pounds of chicken, half a chicken, or 4 pieces of thigh and leg, or 4 breasts. Then dredge the chicken pieces in about 1/2 cup flour, shaking off excess.
In a large Dutch oven on medium-high heat, generously drizzle olive oil and pan-fry the chicken pieces until browned. While the chicken is cooking, dice 4 large shallots or 1 small onion. Mince 4 cloves garlic.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pot, scraping up the browned bits as you stir.
Meanwhile, slice about 8 oz of mushrooms. I used portobello and crimini mushrooms. Add them to the pot and stir again.
After 5 minutes, the mushrooms will have released their juices.
Add 1 cup Madeira wine. Add about 2 cups cream, half and half, or milk, depending on how heavy you want the braise to get. I used whole milk. Add 4 oz creme fraiche, sour cream, or yogurt. I used sour cream. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried if you don't have fresh.
Add the chicken pieces back to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about half an hour. After about 20 minutes, you can check and see if the braise is thickening to your liking. Add a few dollops of sour cream if you want it thicker. Add salt if necessary. Squeeze about 1 tblsp of lemon juice and give it another stir and let simmer for about 10 more minutes until the chicken has softened and the sauce is as thick as you'd like.
Serve with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes. I think rice or noodles would work well with this dish too.
Other braised or stewed chicken recipes:
Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)
Coq Au Vin (French Chicken with Wine)
Ga Kho Gung (Vietnamese Braised Chicken with Ginger)
Malaysian Mango Chicken Curry
Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)
Sanbeiji (Chinese Three-Cup Chicken)
1 year ago today, Chai Thai Noodles - Oakland.
2 years ago today, Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatballs).
3 years ago today, Happy Bakery in Alhambra burned down.