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Author Notes: I ate a similar dish to this one on my first trip to Provence, in Avignon. It was the first dish I recreated when I returned home. This is one of the most impressive -- and easiest -- chicken dishes I know. If you can't find wild mushrooms substitute the domestic variety and squeeze a little lemon juice on them as you sauté them. —ChefJune
whole chicken breasts
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
ounces mixed wild mushrooms, sliced (choose chanterelles, cèpes, shiitake, portobello, cremini)
large cloves garlic, very finely chopped
cup chicken stock
teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
cup crème fraîche
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bone, skin and split the chicken breasts (and save the bones for stock). Put them between 2 sheets of waxed paper and pound with a cleaver, mallet or the bottom of a heavy saucepan, until each is about 1/8" thick.
- Pour the olive oil into a warmed sauté pan set over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté. Add garlic and let it soften, but do not brown.
- Remove the mushrooms and garlic from the sauté pan and set aside. Raise the heat. When the oil is very hot but NOT smoking, add the chicken breasts and brown quickly on both sides.
- Return mushrooms and garlic to the pan. Add thyme and chicken stock. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove lid and raise heat to reduce liquid in pan to about 5 tablespoons. Reduce heat and add 1/3 cup crème fraîche. Do not boil. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once on warmed plates.
- Wine Tip: I first ate this dish in a beautiful little bistro in Avignon near the St. Benezet Bridge, so I associate it with Provence. I’d drink a young Châteauneuf-du-Pape with this chicken… either red or white, depending on my mood.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mushrooms