Friday, January 30, 2009

Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner

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Chicken in Champagne and Mushroom Sauce
by Stella Zedman

Now that you’ve opened that bottle of champagne, you’ll just have to drink the rest of it, won’t you? C’est tres romantique.

1/4 cup (50 mL) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) black pepper
2 tbsp. (30 mL) olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 6 oz/170 g each)
1 tbsp. (15 mL) butter
3 cups (750 mL) sliced mushrooms
1 cup (250 mL) champagne (or other sparkling white wine)
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

Cooking Instructions
In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts in this mixture, one at a time, and arrange them on a plate.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook quickly until lightly browned on both sides, turning once -- 1 to 2 minutes per side. (You may have to do this in two batches.) The chicken should be browned but not cooked through. Remove to a plate.
Add the butter to the skillet, then dump in the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated. Pour in the champagne, stir around to dissolve any crusty bits from bottom of the pan, then stir in the whipping cream. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. Return the chicken breasts to the skillet, nestling them into the mushroom sauce, lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened -- 6 to 8 minutes.
Serve immediately with crusty bread or steamed rice to soak up the velvety sauce.
Servings: 4

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