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Seared Chicken Breasts with Rosemary and Wild Mushrooms

Serves: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 10 ounces wild mushrooms (cremini, shiitake or chanterelle), cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 whole chicken, 3½ to 4 pounds, cut into 10 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley, for garnish


Procedures:

Though delicious anytime of the year, this dish is perfect for fall, when wild mushroom varieties are popping up at local markets. The stock and wine bathe the chicken as it braises, mingling with the poultry juices. To finish the dish, cream is added and the pan juices reduced to a luscious sauce with a hint of sweetness.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil with 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over moderately high heat until butter foams. When foaming subsides, add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and any liquid is evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a medium mixing bowl using a slotted spoon or spider. Set aside.

Season chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet used to cook the mushrooms and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is smoking hot, add the chicken, skin side down, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding. Brown the chicken well, then flip and brown the second side, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a platter using tongs.

When all the chicken has been browned, pour off the fat in the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts, add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping up the browned bits stuck to the pan bottom. When the shallots and garlic are soft, after 1 to 2 minutes, add the broth, wine and rosemary. Bring the liquid to a simmer and return the chicken to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated on the platter. Baste the chicken with some of the pan juices, then cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook just until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced in the thickest part, about 12 to 15 minutes for the breast pieces, and about 5 minutes longer for the thighs, drumsticks, and wings. Remove the chicken pieces to a platter as they are done. Skim the remaining sauce as needed.

Add cream to the skillet, increase heat to high, and simmer the sauce until reduced to the consistency of thick cream. Reduce the heat to moderate, return the chicken to the skillet, and turn it in the sauce to coat it and warm it through. Add mushrooms and stir well to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a warmed serving platter and pour the sauce over. Garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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