Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mushroomy Saucy Chicken

Feeds 2-4 (depending on the appetites).
This is one of those (moderately) indulgent dishes which could be "healthed" up a little, but sure is tasty this way. Definitely 'date night' worthy....

1 lb chicken tenders
Seasoned salt
2-4 T olive oil
2-4 shallots, rough chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, smaller rough chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms (button, baby bella, whatever), sliced
1-2 T butter
about 1 cup chicken broth (plus a little)
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 t cornstarch
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

Season tenders lightly with seasoned salt (trust me on this) and fresh ground pepper. Brown in skillet with olive oil over medium-highish heat, turning to brown all sides. Remove to an oven-safe plate in a warm (200F) oven.

Add sliced mushrooms and butter to the "chicken" pan and saute for a few minutes until they just start to give off some juices, stirring frequently. Add shallots, cooking for 2-3 more minutes. Repeat with garlic for about 30 seconds to 1 minute--you don't want to burn the garlic. Add chicken broth (a little white wine is also good here if you have it--altogether should equal just a teensy bit more than 1 cup of liquid) and bring to a boil to deglaze the pan and reduce the sauce by about 1/4. This may take up to 5 minutes, give or take. I wasn't looking at the clock.

Stir in 1/2 & 1/2. "Bubble" (more than a simmer, less than a boil) and reduce 3-5 minutes until sauce coats the back of a spoon but isn't really thickened; whisk frequently. Stir 1t cornstarch into 1-2T room temp chicken broth in a small bowl. Whisk into sauce. Bring to a bubble again; sauce will be velvety. Turn heat to medium low (sauce will still simmer) and add chicken from oven plus juices. Whisk juices into sauce, stir together with chicken. Taste and correct with salt and pepper if necessary--do this after adding the chicken and juices as the salt from the seasoning will affect the overall, well, saltiness.

Stir in parsley. Remove from heat. Sprinkle lightly with paprika to garnish; serve with brown rice or pasta and steamed vegetables or salad.

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