French Inspired Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
This dish was created in the teeny-weeny kitchenette in the back of our campervan on the outskirts of a little medieval town in the Dordogne region in France. I had one little gas cooker, one pot and one frying pan and utensils of course…and that was it! It’s so lovely getting back to basics and cooking everything in one pan. I had been thinking about creating a mushroom sauce for a few days, and the ingredients had been swimming around in my head until they were solidified in my basket at the supermarket. It’s so simple, it seems almost silly…but I tell you, the flavours are wonderful and rich. If I can cook this outside in a campervan, you can cook it and cook it really well. I didn’t use any corn flour to thicken the sauce as I didn’t have any, but by reducing the wine and adding dijon mustard, it works as a wonderful emulsifier. When you eat this, pretend you are sitting in the French country side…sip some white wine thoughtfully, take a mouthful and thank the French for all they have done for the wonderful world of gastronomy.
2 chicken breast escalopes or 1 chicken breast sliced in half to make 2 thin pieces
200g button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 chicken stock cube (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper
1. Season the chicken breast well with salt and pepper and cook in a frying pan in a little olive oil until golden on each side. (It doesn’t have to be cooked through as it will finish cooking in the mushroom sauce). Put aside.
2. In the same pan, add 1.5 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium to high heat. Add half of the mushrooms and half of the garlic and thyme. Cook until golden on each side, transfer to a bowl and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms (Doing it in two batches ensures that the mushrooms are fried and browned rather then stewed).
3. Add the all mushrooms back into the pan and pour in the white wine. Reduce by half, then add the dijon mustard and chicken stock cube with a little splash of boiling water. Cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens and the alcohol taste has cooked out of the sauce. Check the seasoning and add any salt or pepper if needed.
4. Add the chicken breast to the sauce, and simmer until cooked through. Sprinkle on some fresh thyme.
5. Serve each chicken breast on a bed of mashed potato, with mushrooms piled on top and a side of steamed vegetables.
Button mushrooms and fresh thyme
Chicken cooked a fragrant mushroom sauce
Please ignore the tacky green camping plate…serve it on a beautiful, large white plate with fresh thyme for an aesthetically pleasing meal.
Mr McDonald’s remark: “A wonderfully French dinner. Serve with a fresh baguette to mop up all of the tasty juices and a bottle of 1664 French lager”.