Category Archives: mushrooms

Brandied Chicken

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Here is a fun twist on a classic chicken marsala. To me, with its rich and spicy undertones, brandy is a winter liqueur. So what better way to dress up a chicken breast than bathing it in brandy? Like chicken marsala this dish is fast. The brandy adds a spicy sweetness to the onions and mushrooms making it a meal that the whole family will love.

BRANDIED CHICKEN

4 chicken breasts sliced in half or 8 chicken breast filets

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large yellow onion, sliced lengthwise

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups button mushrooms, sliced

3/4 cup brandy

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat.
  • Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a shallow plate and dredge the chicken breasts on both sides with the mixture.
  • Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side. You want the breasts to be browned and mostly cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the sliced onion and the sugar.
  • Saute, stirring occasionally until the onions are softened and have caramelized slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms to the onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to high and deglaze the skillet by adding the brandy to the onions and mushrooms, scraping up any stuck on brown bits.
  • Stir in the chicken broth.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and cook for an additional minute or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Off the heat, add the butter to the skillet and stir until it has melted.

Serves 4

Chicken Marsala

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Chicken Marsala is a family favorite in our house and this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is my all time favorite.  Sweet Marsala wine combined with mushrooms result in a rich sauce that is the perfect topping for boneless chicken breasts.  If you can find them, I like to use chicken breast filets since they are thinner and cook up in just a few minutes.  If you only have chicken breasts you can either pound the meat into a uniform thickness or slice the breasts in half to make them thinner.  When paired with a pasta or mashed potatoes, this dish is fast and you can have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes.  Alternatively, you can make the chicken ahead of time and let it sit on a warm burner for up to two hours before serving.

CHICKEN MARSALA

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 boneless chicken breasts or 8 chicken breast filets

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 ounces pancetta, finely chopped

8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced thin

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 1/2 cups sweet Marsala wine

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Place the flour in a shallow pan and generously season with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and set aside.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Add the chicken and cook until light golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes for chicken breasts and 3-4 for chicken breast filets.  Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering.
  • Add the pancetta and mushrooms to the skillet and stirring occasionally, cook until the pancetta is crisp and the mushrooms are brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and tomato paste.  Cook until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the Marsala, scraping up any browned bits.  Simmer until reduced and slightly syrupy, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and any accumulated chicken juices.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time.
  • Return the chicken to the pan.
  • If you serving the chicken immediately, proceed to the next step.  Alternatively, cover the pan and return it to low heat until ready to serve.
  • Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Ricotta & Artichoke Pasta

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

What makes an already fast dinner even faster? Cooking the entire dish in one pan and that is exactly what you have with this recipe that has been adapted from Cooking Light. The fresh pasta cooks quickly right in the skillet with the vegetables and the cheese. Easy peasy and oh so tasty. Enjoy!

RICOTTA & ARTICHOKE PASTA

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup prechopped onion
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups artichokes, halved
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 – 14.5 ounce can tomatoes
9 ounces fresh fettuccine
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
  •  Preheat broiler to high.
  •  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat.
  • Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic to pan and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chicken broth, the artichokes, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and pasta to pan, and bring to a boil. Stir to combine.
  • Cover; reduce the heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and dot the pasta mixture evenly with the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.
  • Place pan under broiler. Broil mixture 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
  • Sprinkle evenly with basil.

Serves 4

Hamburger Steaks w/ Sweet Onion & Mushrooms

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

When is a cheeseburger not a simple cheeseburger? When it is topped with richly browned mushrooms, caramelized onions and gooey melted cheese. And that is exactly what this sophisticated take on a traditional staple is all about. The recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and is fast, delicious and decidedly not your kid’s burger. The mushrooms and onions are cooked until tender then drenched in red wine making for the perfect sauce. I like chestnut mushrooms but you can use whatever mild mushrooms you prefer. The same goes of the cheese. I’m a fan of Emmental but cheddar, munster or even a mild gorgonzola all work well.

And if you have more time this burger is delicious when accompanied by a side of crispy duck fat roasted potatoes. But whether you serve it alone or with a favorite side dish you are sure to love this burger.

HAMBURGER STEAKS w/ SWEET ONIONS & MUSHROOMS

4 crusty rolls, sliced

1 pound lean ground beef

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
8 ounces chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
8 slices Emmental cheese

 

Lemon Skillet Chicken

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Not all winter cooking needs to be heavy in order to be satisfying. Case in point is this lemon filled chicken dish from Cooking Light. Because the boneless chicken breasts are flattened slightly before cooking this is a quick meal that is perfect for a mid-week dinner. It contains some of my favorite pantry staples–mushrooms, green beans, potatoes and lemons. The lemon brightens the dish which the potatoes and green beans mean you have an entire dinner in a single dish. Simply put, it is delicious and has become a family favorite.

LEMON SKILLET CHICKEN

12 ounces baby potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 thyme sprigs
4 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup whole milk
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 lemon, thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh been beans, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Preheat the oven to 450°.
  • Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  • Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to pan. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Add chicken and thyme sprigs to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned.
  • Flip the chicken. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Remove the chicken from pan.
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat.
  • Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet.
  • Add the potatoes, cut sides down, the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring once.
  • Combine the milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  • Add the remaining salt, remaining pepper, flour mixture, stock, lemon, and beans to the pan and simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  • Return the chicken to the pan, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4

Creamy Herbed Polenta w/ Mushrooms

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One of my favorite side dishes in polenta. Warm and creamy it is satisfying on its own and makes the perfect bed for soaking up rich sauces and stews. When dining out I will often select a dish simply because the main entree is accompanied by polenta. But despite my love of this dish, until recently I rarely cooked it at home. Why? After all making it is quite simple; all you really need is boiling water and cornmeal and a spoon for stirring. Lots of stirring. And that is why I tended to shy away from making homemade polenta. Try as I might; experimenting with temperature, cooking apparatus and spoon, my polenta would inevitably end up filled with unappetizing lumps. But then I broke out my slow cooker.

Yes, polenta made in a slow cooker. Really, nothing could be easier and best of all, there simply aren’t any lumps. I love it. This recipe is from  William Sonoma and is everything a good polenta should be. It is rich and creamy and this version is studded with corn kernels. By topping it off with sautéed mushrooms you have a complete meal by itself. Or you can serve it along side your favorite meat dish that has lots of juice you want to sop up.

CREAMY HERBED POLENTA w/ MUSHROOMS

4 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 cup stone-ground polenta

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

3/4 pound brushed clean and quartered

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup  fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels

  • In a slow cooker, stir together the stock, polenta, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper.
  • Cover and cook on the low setting for 3 to 3 1⁄2 hours, stirring two or three times if possible. The liquid should be absorbed and the polenta should be thick and soft and no longer gritty.
  • About 10 minutes before the polenta is ready, in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil.
  • Add the shallot and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and their liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and parsley, season with remaining salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more.
  • About 5 minutes before the polenta is ready, stir in the oregano and thyme, Parmesan and corn kernels, then re-cover.
  • Spoon the polenta into warm shallow bowls or a serving bowl and top with the mushroom mixture.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Beer Braised Chicken Thighs

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Chicken braised in wine is called coq au vin. The dish is a class and a favorite in my house. But what about switching out the wine for beer? I say why yes and it especially makes sense here in Belgium where your choices of delicious beer is virtually unlimited. So when I came across this recipe from Cooking Light I knew I had to try it.

This recipe cooks up quickly yet you have all of the rich flavors you would expect in a dish that cooks for a longer period of time. I’ve adapted it by adding additional spices and switching out porter beer for a spicy and flavorful Belgian winter brew. Choose your favorite beer or experiment until you find one that you like. As is the case with cooking with wine, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it.

BEER BRAISED CHICKEN THIGHS
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4  bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved
3/4 cup dark porter beer, or other beer of your choice
3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Combine 3 tablespoons of flour, the thyme and the paprika in a large zip topped plastic bag.
  • Sprinkle half of the salt over the chicken then add the chicken to the bag, ensuring that it is coated on all sides.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to pan and swirl to coat.
  • Remove the chicken from flour mixture, discarding the remaining flour mixture.
  • Add the chicken to pan and cook for 4 minutes or until browned.
  • Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from pan. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the remaining flour , the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the beer, stock, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil; cook 2 minutes.
  • Return chicken to pan. Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, 15 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.
  • Serve with polenta, noodles or rice.

Serves 4

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