Since I had those lovely porcini’s and chanterelles and since its about 2 months since I arrived in Norway, I thought I’d make up a fancy dinner for Yngve and I- including a dessert, which we rarely have.
I thought about it for a while and settled on using the mushrooms to stuff chicken breasts, along with apricots and goat cheese. The breasts were braised on the stove before being transferred to the oven to finish, then a reduction of the pan juices were made into a nice sauce.
This is basically what I did: Sauteed half a finely diced onion and 3 cloves of finely diced garlic in some olive oil and butter on a medium-low heat so they would just get translucent and not browned. When they started to soften, I added probably two cups each of the chanterelles and porcinis, diced. I then took maybe a handful of dried apricots and chopped them into small pieces, added them to the batch- when the mushrooms started to cook down, THEN I added salt and pepper- I didnt want to add the salt to soon because then the mushrooms would start giving off their juices and would just basically cook in their own juices instead of sauteing properly. When everything cooked down I transferred it to a bowl to cool and got to work pounding out the chicken breasts.
I butterflied the breasts, then placed them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pounded them with a rolling pin until they were pretty thin and of an even thickness. When the filling was cooled, I spread a couple spoonfuls of the mixture onto the chicken breasts, then topped it with a chunk of goat cheese. Instead of rolling the breasts up, I folded the ends up so the breasts made like little packages that I secured with little metal skewers. Then, I took an oven proof pan and browned the breasts on both sides (after liberally seasoning them with salt and pepper) then transferred the pan to the oven where I cooked them for about 12 minutes on 200 Celsius, which is about 400 degrees F for those of you at home. When the chicken was cooked (nice and firm all over when pressed) I put it on a warm plate and covered it with aluminum foil. I put the pan back on the burner and let the contents of the pan reduce until it was really dark and thick, then I added in about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, which I let reduce a bit more before adding a dash of cream and about a tablespoon of butter. When I served the chicken, I cut it in half so you could see the stuffing and poured some of the pan sauce over.
I served the chicken with roasted garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and asparagus tips I wrapped in bacon that I seared in the pan.
Now… the dessert. OOOOH the dessert was lovely. And simple! I made an apple pie-like dessert which I served with vanilla icecream and homemade caramel sauce. YUM!!!
Basically, this is how easy this was- while I was cooking dinner I cored and sliced 3 granny smith apples. (you can peel them too if you want… I didnt because I kind of like the sweet tart flavor the apple peels have when cooked and I like the sort of rustic appearance they have) I sauteed them until they were semi soft in a couple tablespoons of butter sprinkled with a bit of sugar and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Set aside. After dinner, pour the apples into a small baking dish. Add a couple small pieces of butter. Take some thawed puff pastry dough and cut it into strips. Make a pretty lattice top for the “pie.” Stick it in the oven on 190/375 until the pastry has puffed up and browned- About 15 minutes or so.
Meanwhile- make the caramel sauce. I used Ina Gardens recipe which is here. Just remember when making the sauce to follow the instructions and DO NOT STIR! When making wet caramel sauce (water and sugar as opposed to just sugar) you run the risk of causing the sugar to crystallize if you stir. Just gently swirl the pan around, thats good enough.
Anyway, when the sauce is done and the pie comes out of the oven, spoon it up into a bowl with a couple scoops of vanilla icecream and drizzle that warm, smooth, sweet, decadant caramel sauce all over it and enjoy.
Then, go pass out in a food induced coma.