Friday, October 17, 2008

Chicken & Sage-Mushroom Gravy

It’s only October, but already I am thinking about the scents and flavors of Thanksgiving. One of those flavors is sage so it’s no surprise that this recipe caught my eye. And it has mushrooms! Oh, wait. That’s right. I am no longer cooking for a fussy eater so I don’t have to put mushrooms in everything as an inducement to try a new dish. But, hey, I like mushrooms too. And I had noodles left over from the Chicken Noodle Soup. This was a perfect opportunity to use them up.

I wasn’t sure how one goes about seasoning 1 ½ pounds of chicken with only ⅛ of teaspoon of salt and ⅛ of teaspoon of pepper, so I placed the chicken in the pan and sprinkled it with the salt and pepper, turned it over and did the same on the reverse side. I’m sure that the total amount exceeded ⅛ teaspoon of each but I happen to like my food well-seasoned.

Kudos to the person who wrote this recipe. Mushrooms do take five minutes to cook rather than the usual 2 to 3 minutes that most recipes say. I did have a small quibble with the recommended “simmer for 2 minutes” when adding the broth and seasonings to the mushroom roux. For the correct texture, it should be brought to a boil and then cooked for at least 2 minutes, usually more while stirring constantly.

My initial impression of this dish was that the nutmeg was too dominant despite the small amount (⅛ teaspoon) but by the second day, the flavor had mellowed to a delicious blend of mushrooms, sage and nutmeg. Quick, easy and delicious! This dish is definitely being added to my regular rotation.

Verdict: Yum! This one’s a keeper.

Chicken & Sage-Mushroom Gravy

(source: Family Circle magazine, 10/18/08)

1 ½ pounds thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14 ½ ounces) chicken broth
¼ teaspoon dried sage
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Noodles and green beans, optional

Season chicken on both sides with ⅛ teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and sauté for 3 minutes. Turn and sauté for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the mushrooms to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened and lightly browned. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms; cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth. Add dried sage, nutmet and remaining ⅛ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add chicken; simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Serve with noodles and steamed green beans, if desired.

Donate: Campbell’s Soup labels to your local school

Recycle: vegetable oil bottle, chicken broth can

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