Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce (Gluten Free)

Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce

I really have to admit that, honestly, this Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce is one of my favorite dishes that I have ever made.

Honestly. Ever. I don’t know whether the magic of the sauce is from the morels or from the sherry-based sauce..or the heavy cream. Who knows. It’s good. Real good.

I came home to a huge bag of fresh picked morel mushrooms on my doorstep! A friend of mine foraged for them and thankfully decided to share his treasure! These puppies can go for as much as $40 per pound! We are eating like royalty over here!

Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce

Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce

With such a large bundle of morel mushroom-delights, I decided to prepare a recipe that was provincial and special: a french morel mushroom sauce.  This sauce deserves a trumpet of announcement. It deserves to be served in a bowl with amazing a crusty baguette, if you can have it. Sop it up. Don’t waste this sauce. With only 1/2 cup of heavy cream added at the end, the sauce is not heavy but it is substantial. I also think that adding champagne vinegar or lemon juice at the end really brings this sauce home with a small acidic kick.

Note – If you are unable to get fresh morel mushrooms, either substitute the mushrooms for equal quantity of cremini or shiitake OR go online and purchase about 2 oz of dry morels. If using dry morels, you will need to rehydrate them. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat off and add the morels to the saucepan. Cover the saucepan and soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes to rehydrate. Remove the rehydrated mushrooms out of the soaking liquid using a slotted spoon, gently squeezing out the excess liquid back into the saucepan. Reserve the soaking liquid. 

Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce

Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 3 pounds of bone in chicken thighs or breasts (skin removed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion or shallot
  • 1 pound fresh morel mushrooms, washed and cut in half if large (this is how I wash my morels)*
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper up to one day in advance.
  2. Add olive oil (or butter) in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet bone side up, and cook about 6 minutes per side, turning once.  Allow the chicken to become golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken and place on a plate.
  3. Lower the heat to medium. If needed, add another tablespoon of olive oil and then add onion (or shallots). Sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add washed morel mushrooms and sauté for a few more minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the mushrooms to a separate plate. Add dry sherry to skillet and bring to a boil. Allow the sherry to reduce by half (about 2 minutes). Add chicken stock and chicken to skillet and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the skillet with a lid placed slightly ajar. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Check chicken after 20 minutes. After cooked through, transfer the chicken to a platter.
  4. Add the mushrooms back to the skillet. Add cream, vinegar, and thyme. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, pour the sauce over the chicken on the platter. Sprinkle with additional cracked pepper and fresh thyme, if desired.

Notes – recipe adapted from here and here.

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Paleo Curried Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken

Paleo Curried Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken

Things have been pretty busy for me lately. We recently traveled to Pittsburgh to see two of our dearest friends and our twin godsons that are 16 months old! So adorable. It was a fun-filled weekend that had me taking naps EVERY day. Twin boys…whoooosh. Then I was in Omaha for work. THEN my two awesome kid sisters came and visited me.

When I’m running around full steam, on the road, and on air planes, I need a good snack. I recently tried SuperSeedz, gourmet pumpkin seeds, and I absolutely LOVE them. I took them on the road with me and shared my new addiction with everyone. They are so delicious and have tons of different flavors. They are one of the best gluten free and paleo-friendly treats on the market.

Paleo Curried Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken

I’m typically not a big person on doing giveaways, but I am completely in deep smit with these pumpkin seeds.  So if you are looking for a tasty snack that is loaded with protein and nutrients, you have to try these!

Paleo Curried Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken

Paleo Curried Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken

For a sweet treat, try the chocolate flavored Cocoa Joe! ERHMERGERD! Or spice it up with the Curry Flavored seeds. I really liked these seeds so much that I used the curry flavored pumpkin seeds as a nut crust for a paleo version of chicken fingers! Super kid friendly and easy for the whole family to help prepare.

SuperSeedz and I are giving away a FREE box of all of the delicious flavors that SuperSeedz offers! It’s an amazing snack box full of tasty treats.  There are two different ways to enter this giveaway.

Receive up to 2 entries if you:

  1. Subscribe to Big Eats Tiny Kitchen blog by email. 
  2. Leave a comment below about your favorite way to use pumpkin seeds. Extra points for creativity!

The fine print: You have until midnight CST on Sunday, July 6th, 2014, to leave a comment or subscribe to my blog for chances to win the box of tasty treats. I will notify the winner by email on Monday, July 7th, 2014. To claim the prize, the winner must reply within 7 days with a valid mailing address or another winner will be selected at random. Good luck!

Paleo Curried Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Paleo-Friendly)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Note – A food processor or blender is necessary for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of chicken breasts or thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds (I used Super Seedz Curry Flavor)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (or any seasoning that you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Process 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in a food processor for 1 minute or until seeds resemble bread crumbs. Add coconut, curry powder, and salt and pulse until combined. Pour pumpkin seed mixture onto a large plate.
  3. Whisk two eggs in a medium bowl. Dredge chicken in egg to fully coat. Take egg-coated chicken and lay onto plate with pumpkin seed mixture. Coat chicken on both sides with pumpkin seed mixture thoroughly. Place coated chicken onto roasting pan.
  4. Cook chicken for 35 to 45 minutes at 400 F (until chicken is cooked through), flipping halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven when cooked through and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

 

Basil Chicken Stir Fry

Life.

It is something that we are all given.  With that life, we make choices. With those choices, we affect our life but more importantly, we affect the lives of others.

This weekend was a hard one. My husband’s family suffered a great loss. An unexpected loss at that. Times like these reaffirm my belief that we should always let people know how much they mean to us.

After such a long weekend out of town, we arrived home this afternoon and I was hungry for fresh vegetables. A basic stir fry is the easiest way to use up whatever vegetables you have lingering in your fridge. Feel free to sub any fresh or frozen vegetables that you may have around or in the garden.

Stir Fry Tip Numero Uno – Cut all your veggies up in advance and have everything prepped and ready to go.

Stir Fry Tip Numero Dos – Have a good stir fry sauce recipe.

I have also included my basic stir fry sauce recipe which is adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook. Because we have recently given up soy products, I used coconut aminos in place of soy sauce.  It is available at any natural food grocer or online. This recipe would also taste great with coconut milk and curry. Mmmm.

For other stir fry ideas, check out the Food Matters Project here.

Basil Chicken Stir Fry

Serves 4

Basic Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup raw coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Basil Chicken Stir Fry Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups of vegetables: bell peppers (cut into 1/4-inch strips),  carrot (cut into thin slices), mushrooms (sliced), kale (chopped), spinach, green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, etc.
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more depending on desired spiciness)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced (plus more for topping)
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Combine stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet. Place diced chicken in skillet with half of the stir fry sauce. Cook until browned and cooked through (about 10 minutes). Stir frequently. When cooked through, remove chicken from skillet and place in a separate bowl.
  • In same skillet that the chicken just was removed from, add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Allow to melt (30 seconds). Turn heat to medium-high. Add onions and salt and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Add all other vegetables except leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard) and tomatoes. Stir fry until they begin to get tender. Add tomatoes, leafy greens, and the remaining stir fry sauce to the skillet. Keep the heat medium-high. Stir frequently. The sauce will begin to thicken.
  • Add chicken, red pepper flakes, and basil. Stir until heated through and incorporated. Remove from heat. Top with additional basil and sesame seeds.

Braised Chicken in Sweet and Sour Rhubarb Sauce

If you have only had rhubarb in pies and cobblers, you should branch out and try adding it to the main course.  Today’s recipe was chosen by Culinary Adentures with Camilla for week 10 of the Food Matters Project. The original recipe is Braised Fish in Rhubarb Sauce from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, where white fish is cooked in a carmely/lime/rhubarb sauce. Instead of fish, I decided to use this recipe to make a natural sweet and sour chicken dish using rhubarb as the sour and honey as the sweet. Unfortunately, rhubarb has not quite hit the markets yet, but luckily I had some frozen and tucked away from my rhubarb crop last year.

While most rhubarb you see in the grocery stores and markets are a beautiful red, I unknowingly bought a green and a red variety of rhubarb to plant in my garden.  Rhubarb, like asparagus, is a  perennial plant, coming back year after year to give you great tart goodness.  The stalk of the rhubarb plant is edible, while the leaf is poisonous.  Because rhubarb plants love sun, be sure to plant them in a good sunny well drained area that will not be disturbed.  You will not be dissappointed. You can freeze the rhubarb by cutting the stalk into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces and freezing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, place them in a ziploc bag for future use.  In today’s recipe, I used frozen green rhubarb from last years crop.

Because of rhubarb’s pucker power, it needs to be balanced with some sweetness….honey.   I also added the juice of two oranges to balance out the sauce.  The result…awesome and healthy! I loved that it was not loaded down with artificial flavors and processed sugar.  It was fresh and healthy. However, as far as looks go….it would never win a beauty contest. My rhubarb is green….so the sauce looked a bit like green mash.  I only added 2 tablespoons of honey, which was enough for me…..but I think my husband would have preferred it to be more on the sweet side and less on the sour side. But that’s why he has me…I’m sweet enough for everything. (BAH!)

So even if your guests or kids sneer their nose at the site of the slime chicken you are serving (I know I’m selling this dish to you guys, no wonder I’m an engineer and not a salesman), once they taste it…seriously….they will be suprised.

You can use rhubarb in recipes that you would likely also use pineapple. This sauce would be great on pork too.

Check out what the recipes that the FMP food bloggers came up with here. Happy Monday!

Braised Chicken in Sweet and Sour Rhubarb Sauce (adapted from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook)

Serves 4

Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of diced rhubarb (frozen or fresh)
  • juice of 2 oranges (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (or more depending on level of sweetness you prefer)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fine ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb of chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place rhubarb, juice of oranges, and honey in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Stir often and cook for 5 to 10 minutes (do not scorch) or until rhubarb appears mushy and pureed. Stir in ginger and pepper. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions once coconut oil is completely melted. Saute onions for 5 minutes, or until slightly brown and transluscent. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Add rhubarb sauce, lower heat to low, and simmer chicken and rhubarb sauce for a 5 minutes, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with cilantro.