06 December 2011

Twelve Days with a Grateful Heart: DSLRs and Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Here's another ugly meal that not even natural lighting and a DSLR could fix.  However, this one is crazy tasty.

2-3 strips bacon
2-3 T olive oil
1 lb chicken (I used boneless skinless breasts since I'm lazy, but chicken thighs would work equally well)
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
8 oz cremini or button mushrooms, wiped and sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3ish c chicken stock
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c cream or evaporated milk
salt+pepper, to taste

In a pan, heat olive oil, season chicken with salt+pepper, and pan fry until cooked through and golden.  Slice the cooked chicken.  In a separate pan, render bacon until crisp.  Set aside the bacon and crumble.  Leave at least a couple Tbs of bacon grease in the pan, which might mean not removing any of the rendered fat.  Saute the onions with a pinch of salt until at least translucent.  I usually try to caramelize them a bit.  Add in mushrooms and season with salt+pepper.  You may need to add a bit of oil if you've used most of the bacon grease for the onions.  Saute the mushrooms until they've released their liquid and start to brown a bit.  Stir in the garlic until fragrant.  Add in the chicken stock and stir to pick up any browned bits of mushroom and onion and let the chicken stock reduce a bit.  Turn down the heat and stir in the sour cream and cream until combined.  Don't let this boil because things will separate.  Add in the crumbled bacon and chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over rice or egg noodles.

I guess conventional wisdom says that I should use the pan that cooked the chicken to make the sauce, but I wanted a fast dinner, so I cooked the chicken simultaneously with the sauce.  After the chicken was out, I remembered that I wanted to make asparagus, so the chicken-y goodness didn't all go to waste.  I added a bit of stock to the pan to stir up the browned bits, added in my asparagus and cooked them until tender-crisp.

So  yes, I am thankful for my DSLR because with a little bit of natural light, I'm able to take foods that weren't actually that tasty and make them look delicious.  Similarly, they elevate ugly dishes to things that maybe look palatable.  While this dish is pretty gnarly, it's actually really tasty.

zucchini fritter with way too much onion (way more pretty)

chicken and mushroom dinner, with the chicken-y asparagus (way more tasty)

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