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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chicken Fricassée with Portobellos & Pasta


3 lb of mixed boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs
2 qt chicken stock
2 bay leaves
½ t ground thyme
½ t rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp black peppercorns
¼ lb bacon, chopped
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
½ lb. button or chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and large ones halved
½ t rosemary leaves, finely chopped
12 oz. dry white wine
12 oz. double cream
1 ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lb fresh rotini, tagliatelle or similar complex pasta
Handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

With a sharp knife, remove the excess fat from the thighs, cut them into large chunks, approximately 1" cubes.

Put the chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns in pan with a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken thighs. Gently poach until the meat is tender. Remove chicken from the pan with a pair of tongs and let cool slightly. Strain the poaching stock and save 1 1/2 cups for later use.

Heat a large frying pan with a little olive oil. Season the breasts and add to the pan. When the meat is three quarters cooked, add the poached leg meat and cook for a few more minutes until golden brown.

Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Add the bacon and shallots to the pan with a little more olive oil, if necessary. Sauté for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until the shallots are translucent and the bacon is lightly browned. Stir in the mushrooms and rosemary and sauté for a few more minutes. Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Let the liquid boil until reduced by half.

Add the previously set-aside stock and reduce again by half. Finally, pour in the cream and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened to a desired consistency. Stir in the mustard and season to taste. Add the browned chicken into the sauce to warm through.

Meanwhile, blanch the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water for 1 ½ - 2 minutes until al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce to coat. Divide amongst warmed plates and arrange the chicken over the pasta. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

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