Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pacific Northwest Inspiration

While we were in Portland we found a stall at the farmers' market selling morel mushrooms. These were fresh, huge, big as your hand, morels. I've never seen anything like them, nor quite so many in one place! This was the same stall at which I got the ramp salt. We didn't buy any morels, but it got me thinking they were in season.

Today I had some chicken breast slices (I buy them pre-trimmed sometimes, so really about 2 breasts but cut into 5 or 6 thin pieces) and I stopped by Whole Foods for morels, figuring they'd be in stock. They were, but they were tiny. Like, smaller than my pinky finger tiny. What a difference!

Using a couple recipes as a guide I made this up a little bit as I went along, but it worked out great:

 Chicken with Shallots and Morel Cream Sauce

thinly sliced chicken breasts
flour
ramp salt, pepper
1/2 cup elderflower tonic water 
1/2 cup turkey stock
3 oz fresh morels, soaked briefly in 3/4 hot water
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1 tbsp lemon juice

Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid, and rinse the mushrooms briefly. Dredge the chicken in flour seasoned with the ramp salt and pepper. Sauté in oil until 150˚F in the center. Set aside in a warm oven. Add 1 T. butter to the pan, and then the shallots. Cook a few minutes until they are soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté briefly. Add the elderflower water and let it cook down, deglazing the pan. Add the stock and mushroom water, taking care not to pour the grit into the pan. Once this has cooked down, add the cream and herbs de Provence. Then add the lemon juice. Finally put the chicken back in the sauce, add any juices from the plate, and cook until the chicken is 165˚F. Serve over buttered egg noodles. 

Too bad I don't live in an area where they are plentiful in the spring or I might just get back into foraging for my own....

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