Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nicholas cooks ~ Mushoom-shallot cream sauce with chicken

This recipe has a little history behind it.  I call it the first date dinner.  Not that it was made on any first date, but if the man made it to being asked to my home to dinner for the first time, this was most likely what was served.  Did I mention I'm referring to sometime over 20 years ago?  I also have had this recipe for over twenty years, almost 22, I think.  From Bob McKibben, who made if for me on a date at his home. I was impressed.  Men that cook.  I just smile that I have a good memory in looking at the pink notebook paper with his hand-writing on it.  He wrote it out when I asked for it, when he was cooking for the next girl he dated.  

How can one go wrong with cream and butter?  Mushrooms can be pushed aside if a person does not like mushrooms.  The shallots are mild in the cream.  Chicken, most people like chicken.  All around, it is quick, easy and decadent.   Perfect for company.

My son, Nicholas, likes to be in the kitchen, cooking.  I've not nutured that as much as he would like.  After his Christmas vacation, I asked if he'd like to cook dinner once a week, with my help when he needs it and teaching.  This recipe is good in that results are tasty if done well, still good if done not so well.  Nicholas did well!!  Even his little sister found a mushroom style she liked!  The girls set the dinner with the Christmas dishes because they aren't ready to let them go yet until next season.  It was a cozy family dinner.  A stepping stone moment in time.  

He was able to learn a few things, which was fun.  How to pick out mushrooms, discuss the differences at the store, let him decide which ones to pick.  Dredging meat.  Searing meat.  Browning veggies.  De-glazing.  I did the flaming brandy part, he is afterall, 12.  And with crossed fingers on my part, on his way to being a fine cook as a man someday.  Maybe he'll even make this for a date someday and smile.  I hope he's well loved.

Chicken with mushroom-shallot cream sauce

8-10 chicken tenders
1/2 c. flour
Salt and pepper
1 c. sliced mushrooms, or quartered if small
1/4 - 1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots - amount depending on love of shallots 
1/4 lb. butter, approximate
2 oz. brandy
3/4 pint heavy cream

  • Add salt and pepper to flour in a pan.  
  • Pat dry the chicken.  Dredge in flour and set aside on a clean plate.
  • Heat pan over medium flame, when hot add 2-4 T. butter, then mushrooms and shallots.  Salt.  Let brown.  When nicely browned, add brandy, flame.  Let warm for a couple minutes.  Remove veggies to a plate.
  • Add more butter to saucepan.  Put in chicken breasts or tenders, without crowding.  Split the number in separate batches if need be.  I do this with 4-5 tenders in one 10" pan, two batches.
  • Cook chicken to nicely browned on first side, almost all the way done on the other.
  • Add mushrooms and shallots back into the pan, along with first batch of chicken.  Add cream, warm through.  Add chicken back into pan.  No need to bring to a boil, just to coat and heat through if needed.  Taste for seasoning.
Notes ~  Bob made this with the chicken being cooked first.  Searing the chicken on one side, turning and adding the brandy.  He'd remove the chicken, then move onto the mushrooms and shallots.  

Nicholas ~ he did a great job, I'm proud of him.  I think he was proud of himself, too.   


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