Red Wine Mushrooms (Great with Chicken!)

mushrooms cooking 

This is one of the first things I learned to make when I started cooking on my own.  It’s simple, hard to mess up, and delicious.  Plus, its a pretty cheap way to dress up plain chicken. 

Makes: 4 servings
Total kitchen time: 25 minutes

Shopping list:

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine (use a bottle you’d actually drink)
  • 4 cups (about 2 packages) crimini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Herbs de Provençe (seasoning blend)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the butter an oil together in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallot and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red wine and stir to deglaze the pan.  The shallots will have started to brown just slightly, leaving wonderful sticky stuff on the bottom of the pan.  The acid from the wine will cause those brown bits to release and get reincorporated into the liquid.  That’s called deglazing.
  4. Bring the wine to a boil and let it reduce for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the mushrooms, stirring to mix everything together.  Add the salt, pepper and herbs de Provençe.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and tender.
  6. To serve, spoon the mushrooms over chicken, pasta, steak, or whatever else your heart desires.

 chicken with mushrooms

Pictured above, I’ve topped some Hens Provençal with a generous helping of the mushrooms.  I also added some butternut squash, sweet potatoes and turnips to the roasting pan for a bit of extra color and flavor.

Godfather of Sole

stuffed sole 
You may already know papa’s brand new bag, but this little number is sure to awaken the funky spirit within you.  Stuffed with a blend of chanterelle mushrooms, capers and thyme, this sex machine of a dish will have your guests begging please, please, please for seconds.  Say it loud: I cook and I’m proud!
(Note: If you’re not rolling your eyes right now, you’re probably related to me.)

Makes: 2 people feel good (nah-ne nah-ne nah-ne-ne)
Total kitchen time: 30 mins

Shopping list:

  • 2 fillets of sole
  • 2 oz. chanterelle mushrooms (fresh if you can find ’em)
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp. coarse bread crumbs (a few crumbled crackers will do the trick)
  • 1 tbsp. coarse cornmeal
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • coarse salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Set the upper rack in the top third of the oven.
  2. Thoroughly clean and rinse the mushrooms.  Dry them well with a paper towel and chop into 1/4″ cubes.
  3. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over high heat.  Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have browned slightly, about 5 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and cook for another minute or so.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Roughly chop together the mushrooms, capers, thyme and breadcrumbs. Lightly salt and pepper the sole fillets.  Place a small mound of the mushroom and caper mixture in the center of each fillet and roll into a tube.  The fillets will be delicate, so be extra careful when handling them.  Dust each fillet with cornmeal.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil has started to glisten like a rhinestone cape, add the fillets.  Once they’ve hit the pan, don’t even think about moving them unless you want to end up with Godfather of Sole Helper.  Sear the bottom of the fillets until golden brown, about 2 minutes. 
  6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the fish is cooked.  It should flake when you poke it with a fork.  I’ve always thought this was dumb advice, though.  Like saying your tire pressure is correct if the tire pops when you stab it with a needle.  The fish is done when it’s done.  Use your eyes.

Plate and serve with a mushroom risotto and a parmesan red chili fritter.   Git up and git down!