Let’s start by saying that this is not your average run-of-the-mill dinner recipe. While delicious, Morel mushrooms do not come cheap, so this could be a great recipe for a fancy occasion (if you decide to use more Morels), but we’ve stretched our dollars by also using shiitake and porcini mushrooms, which nicely complement the Morels. The same thing goes for using crème fraiche—it really elevates the sauce, but you could just as easily use more cream or chicken stock to round out the flavor. Bottom line: probably not a dish to make for a meal that’s going to be eaten in sweat pants, but it’s a lovely choice for something special or celebratory. The chicken is crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, and the cream sauce makes it perfect; it's an excellent meal when you're in the mood for something a little fancy!
Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Casserole
- 1/3 cup dried morel mushrooms
- 1/3 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 6 pieces chicken (legs and thighs)
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups hot water
- 1 cup crème fraiche
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Madeira (or other dry white) wine
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Place mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 3 cups of very hot water. Leave mushrooms submerged in water for 25 minutes.
- Drain and rinse mushrooms well to make sure all particles and gritty bits are washed away. Lightly pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
- Season chicken legs with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
- In a large, sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. In two batches, cook chicken, browning both sides, for a total of 8-10 minutes. Transfer chicken to an over-proof casserole dish.
- Add remaining butter and olive oil to sauté pan and add mushrooms, onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously so they don’t burn.
- Add Madeira to the vegetables and let mixture reduce by half, 3-4 minutes. Then add in heavy cream, crème fraiche and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Bring mixture to a boil and cook until thickened, 6-8 minutes.
- Pour mushroom sauce over chicken and bake for 15 minutes, or until chicken is heated through.
Recipe adapted from Organic Valley