About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Good Gravy!

Elevate simple to sensational with a couple of ingredients you normally don't indulge in - cream and cognac.  Most cooks use butter on a regular basis but cream is reserved for desserts and holidays. Cognac or brandy; most don't keep on hand but worth the investment for foodies, if not something you drink along with a cigar.

A chicken breast, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, then browned in a mix of butter and olive oil, then finished restaurant style in a 350 degree oven is a fine, preparation for any family meal.  My husband and I enjoy this frequently but it's the holidays and I'm really looking for ways to dress up the basics.  So I served it with this lovely sauce and my husband's said, "Hmm, really good."

Here's the scoop!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix 1/2 tsp pepper and 2 tsp Kosher salt and season two skin on chicken breasts with ribs (I prefer skin on without ribs, which you or your butcher will have to do).
Brown breasts in 2 tbls butter and 2 tbls olive oil over medium high heat in a heavy skillet.  4-5 minutes per side. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven to a plate and tent.  Pour off all but 1 tbls fat.  Saute in the pan until juices released (4-5 mins):

1 tbls minced shallot
8 oz.sliced porcini mushrooms


1/2 cup chicken essence or stock
deglaze the pan and bring to a simmer

Add 1/4 cup cream and and heat to simmer. Add 1/4 cup brandy or cognac and heat to simmer stirring frequently and sauce is reduced and slightly thickened.  Correct seasoning.  If you use essence, there is little seasoning to do.

Spoon over chicken and serve immediately.

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