Spring is here, and it’s time to clean out the freezer for the upcoming hunting season. Hunting what? Rather, Minnesota’s morel mushroom foraging season is upon us!
If you haven’t had the thrill of discovering wild morel mushrooms: these seductive lords of the forest can be found in spring slumped like drunken gnomes emerging from last fall’s leaf cover. Challenging to find, but fun to be on the lookout for, and can be found almost anywhere. Seriously, keep your eyes peeled.
Morels have a slightly stronger earthy/nutty flavor than common button mushrooms from grocery stores, but largely sponge up the flavors you cook them with. In this recipe they’ll soak up savory flavors from the onions and the richness of the cream and wine sauce. I mostly enjoy morels for the thrill of the hunt along with their delicate texture; less rubbery than button mushrooms, for example.
I threw together this 20-minute dinner with my freezer forages from last year’s hunting season, and hope you enjoy this fusion of local edibles and hand-crafted wine as well. If you don’t happen to have your own stash of morels (or “Grandpa’s apple wine”) – toss in whatever edible fungi and white wine you do have!
Chicken and Mushrooms in Wine Sauce
2 4-oz Chicken Breasts
8 oz Mushrooms, chopped in large (½” pieces)
½ Onion, finely diced
⅓ c. Wine (I used Grandpa’s homemade apple wine, but any white will do)
½ c. Chicken Broth
¼ c. Heavy Cream
2T Butter, divided
3T Flour, divided
5 oz Pasta (I used egg noodles)
Minced Fresh Herbs (optional; I used Parsley – Thyme would be good as well!)
Shaved Parmesan (optional)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Heat a 10-in skillet on medium heat.
Heat a pot with water for the noodles, lightly salt. Once it comes to a boil, cook pasta as directed.
Salt & pepper chicken to taste, dredge in 2T flour.
Melt 1T butter in skillet, add chicken. Cook 6 minutes per side.
Remove chicken from pan and cover to keep warm.
Add remaining 1T butter to skillet and allow to melt.
When melted, add onion.
Once onion turns translucent, add mushrooms, and salt & pepper to taste.
Cook mushrooms are slightly brown on edges.
Add broth and wine to the pan, allow to simmer and scrape up any pan ‘drippings’.
Once simmering, add remaining 1T flour and whisk in thoroughly.
Next, add half of the heavy cream, and stir in.
Add the chicken back to the pan, and cover until chicken is cooked through.
Plate the pasta, remove the chicken from the sauce, and top the pasta with it.
Then, stir the remaining heavy cream into the sauce pan.
Top your plated dish with mushroom sauce & pair with remaining wine.
Add optional garnishes such as herbs and/or Parmesan.