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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken with cream and mushrooms

When I mustered this up (wow, this sounds an awful lot like mustard, which reminds me of the home-made mustard and the mustard seeds pickle I'm planning to do soon...) I was thinking about two things. One, is my mom's chicken and cream (a traditional dish from the region of Moldova).  The other is a delicious pasta dish that the Pizza Hut restaurants in Romania serve as "al pesto" (although it doesn't contain any traces of pesto, just cream, Parmesan, mushrooms and basil - so basil is actually the only ingredient that resembles a pesto; but I'm not complaining about the misfortune of the naming because al pesto or not, those pasta are still great!). 
Thus, I thought of a great way to combine the two dishes that I love, taking and leaving a bit of each (I left out the handful of fresh dill in my mom's chicken and cream dish and, obviously, the pasta from Pizza Hut's dish) while also adding a bit of my own doing - like the wine, coriander and sunflower kernels.
The result: a magnificent flavorful dish which you will love once you taste. Cross our hearts :D.

We had this with a side-dish / bread replacement of Bramboraki. It was a good combination. Also it would be nice to have some red fruit juice or fruity rose wine next to it. Enjoy!

Ingredients: (serves 2 very hungry people):
  • 350 g boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 250-300 g cream (depending how saucy you want it)
  • 500 g fresh champignon mushrooms (we used half white, half brown to combine flavor)
  • 1 big pinch of dried and ground coriander
  • 1 big pinch of dried basil - or a handful of fresh leaves if you can find
  • 4-5 tablespoons of dry white wine - 15-20 ml
  • 2 tablespoons of flourr (optional, only if your cream is very liquid)
  • 100 g Parmesan
  • 1-2 handfuls of sunflower kernels (un-roasted)
  • 1,5 teaspoons of salt
  • a little olive oil

Get the mushrooms first:

Peel and clean them. If you don't know how, follow the detailed instructions from the Cheese-stuffed mushrooms.

In the picture above are only half the mushrooms. You should continue until you're done with them all :)
Grate the Parmesan:

Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes:

Season the meat with the handful of coriander and half the salt. Also some pepper if you like. Mix it very well into the chicken cubes, then put them in a little olive oil to fry:

Keep them for about 5 minutes on each side. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, put the cream in a medium pot over a heat source. Add the basil:

Also add the wine and maybe flour (if you need to use any). Add 2/3 of the grated Parmesan:

Chop the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot:

Stir once, then turn off the heat source, leaving the pot still on it. The mushrooms should remain mostly raw. 
Put the chicken pieces in 2 deep plates or large bowls:

Top with the mushroom and cream sauce:

Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top...

... and then the sunflower seeds and you're done. Dig in!

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