I bought it on impulse. My vacation was over, but if the food in the area is so good, why not try to make some of it myself at home?
We're home, and I'm one person cooking for two picky people, so I decided to try a very intriguiging chicken recipe containing some of my favorite ingredients: chicken, bacon, brandy, hazelnuts, and garlic.
I made some adjustments to the recipe. It called for both cultivated and dried porcini mushrooms. Since I'm not really into porcini, I skipped them. That saved me some money too. The recipe also called for creme fraiche. I opted for just plain heavy cream. Kevin isn't into tart dairy products and they don't top my list either. The recipe also tells you to saute the chicken in large amounts of walnut oil. Not only is that expensive, but it also seems pointless. The heat would likely destroy the flavor. I did follow the recipe's method mostly, although it seemed a bit weird at times.
My tinkering made for a pretty good recipe. It tasted better than just a pile of stuff on top of a chicken breast as this picture might suggest.
Here is my version of the recipe.
2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl butter
Salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5-6 shallots, minced
4 strips bacon, cut into little pieces
4-5 cloves garlic minced
10 oz. fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup brandy
1 Tbl fresh thyme
1/2 cup port
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and brown well on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
Add bacon and shallots to the pan and cook until bacon crisps. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove mixture from pan with a slotted spoon and drain.
If you have excess fat in the pan, drain it off, but leave about 3 tablespoons. Add your mushrooms and cook until they begin to give up their liquid. Toss in hazelnuts.
Add brandy and thyme and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the port and return chicken and the shallot mixture to the pan. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove chicken from pan and stir in cream. Place chicken pieces on a plate and pour sauce over the top.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Bringing a Bit of Jackson Home
On the last day of my vacation, I found this book in the hotel gift shop.