Tag Archives: sherry

Chicken with Mushrooms and Sherry Sauce

I saw Raymond Blanc do this on the telly and thought it looked absolutely yummy – it is, despite the fact that I didn’t use the specified ‘Morel’ mushrooms (which are hideously expensive). So I suspect that the flavours would have been even more fabulous than they were in my version. Really, really gorgeous and so simple to do – give it a go whether it’s a simple family meal or supper with friends – you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and the leeks: what Monsieur Blanc did with them is simply one of the best ways to serve them!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 teaspoon stock from a chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50 ml hot water from the kettle

4 plump chicken breasts

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

200g wild or interesting mushrooms, washed and roughly torn

120g button mushrooms, washed and quartered

100ml dry sherry, boiled for 30 seconds to cook off the alcohol

200ml double cream

for the leeks

200ml water

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon butter

4 leeks, outer leaves removed, washed and sliced

What to do…

First, make a little chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dissolve the stock from the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 3 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from a pan and set aside.

In the butter remaining in the pan, chuck in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and add the boiled sherry, chicken stock and double cream. Bring to the boil and slip in the chicken breasts – which should be covered by the sauce. Lower the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 7 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

Again using your slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. Turn the heat up to boil the sauce and cook until reduced by half (15 – 20 minutes on my hob) and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Actually, keep tasting because it’s bloody lovely!

Whilst the chicken breasts are cooking, turn your attention to the leeks. Into a saucepan, tip the water, salt and butter and bring to the boil. Tip in the leeks, pop on the lid and boil like mad for 3 minutes. That’s it!

To serve, place the chicken breasts back into the sauce to warm up for 2 minutes and then divide the chicken breasts and sauce between 4 plates, drain the leeks and serve them as well. We also had chunked up red potatoes that had been roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, dried rosemary and chopped garlic. The whole supper is absolutely delicious – gotta love food blogging!

Inspired by…

Raymond Blanc

How easy…

Easy, relaxed and really quite joyful! Glass of wine in hand, obviously!

 

 

 

 

The Most Sensational, Naughty Sauce for Steak

I watched Michael Caines do this a couple of weeks ago and just had to give it a go. It is soooooo much more than the gloriousness that it looked on telly. It really is the most sensational sauce to serve with steak and has a taste and texture that simply evoke ‘naughty!’ Michael did his with Madeira but our bar was not forthcoming but seemed heavily stocked with sweet sherry, so that was substituted – it worked REALLY well. But finally, a word of caution: don’t try and rush the ‘reduction’ elements of this sauce – I know from experience that the sauce then ends up thin and that the flavours aren’t of the full intensity assures this recipe is right at the top of our favourites list!

Serves 4 (I’ve doubled up on the sauce quantities because we do enjoy lots of sauce, so you may not need the quantities that I have listed, depending on your own sauciness)

What you need…

4 x 200-250g sirloin steaks

Olive oil

300ml boiling water from the kettle

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50g butter

6 shallots, thinly sliced

150g button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

220ml sweet sherry (I use Harveys Bristol Cream)

300ml double cream

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

First, make your stock by dissolving ¾ chicken stockpot into the boiling water, using a balloon whisk to help the process. Set aside.

Over a moderate heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook until the shallots are transparent.

Add the button mushrooms and continue cooking until they are slippery in texture. Stir in the thyme.

Slosh in the sherry and simmer until reduced by half.

Pour in the chicken stock and reduce by half again.

Gently pour in the cream and reduce by half yet again – you will then have a lovely thick, opulent sauce. Add a little black pepper, taste (chef’s privilege) and adjust the seasoning to taste. Make a resolution not to keep on tasting until it’s served! Keep warm on a low heat, stirring occasionally whilst you cook your steaks.

Onto each steak, massage in 1 teaspoon oil. Then season to your liking. Flip the steaks and give them the same treatment on the other side.

Heat another frying pan over a hot heat. Pop in the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your steak. Remove the steaks and serve them onto warmed plates, allowing them to rest for a couple of minutes.

Decant your luscious sauce and pop it into the middle of the table to allow your fellow diners to help themselves – remind them about the need to share: they’ll want the lot to themselves! Indulge and enjoy! Serve with a bit of greenery, maybe some exotic mushrooms and Hasselback potatoes. Simply scrummy!

Inspired by…

Michael Caines

How easy…

Very easy as long as you take your time and allow the reductions to work their magic.