One good thing about all this extra time on my hands is that I have become even more creative in the kitchen than usual. I am going through my library of cookbooks even more so and finding so many great recipes that I just have to try. Fortunately, my pantry is always well stocked, which means I usually have just about everything I need to prepare these fabulous dishes. Not only is my pantry well stocked, but so is our liquor cabinet, so I have been cooking more with alcohol than I normally do as well. It’s odd, we have a very fully stocked liquor cabinet, but other than wine, and the occasional margarita, neither one of us are really big drinkers. We have some rum that’s over 20 years old, and it is only getting better and better all the time. Luckily Larry has gotten use to not really knowing what’s for dinner and he is a pretty adventurous eater, so that gives me free reign to try just about anything I want to try.
One of my latest culinary creations was chicken with mushrooms and pearl onions. It called for brandy, which of course we have, but I had some almond tequila that I decided to use instead. Oddly enough, I literally had the exact amount the recipe was calling for too. I also used some of our Costco chicken for this dish as well. This was our first time to dine al fresco for the season, before we had another bout of snow.
Chicken with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions
1 1/2-2 lbs chicken pieces – either breasts or leg & thighs is fine
salt & pepper to taste
2 TBSP flour
3/4 cup pearl onions, peeled
8 oz mushrooms, quartered or sliced
2/3 cup brandy or alcohol of choice
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp thyme, fresh or dried
Mix the flour and salt & pepper together and lightly coat the chicken. Add the olive oil and some butter to the skillet, then brown the chicken pieces on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Once the chicken is browned, remove it from the skillet and set it aside, keeping it warm. Since I used chicken that was already cooked, I eliminated this step.
Add more oil and/or butter if needed and saute the mushrooms and pearl onions together for about 5-6 minutes, or until they are browned.
Once the mushrooms and onions are browned, remove the skillet from the heat and add the alcohol. Be careful of flare ups and flambeing, unless that is what you are going after.
Bring everything to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Mix the cornstarch with the chicken broth and add to the mixture, then add the thyme. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes. Finish everything off with some butter and combine well.
Add the chicken pieces back into the mixture, making sure to completely coat the chicken with the sauce, and continue to cook for about 2-3 more minutes.
I served my chicken over some rice with browned butter and pecans, alongside green beans. My wine choice was a light, fruity chardonnay. Delicious!