Sunday, February 14, 2010

Madeira Chicken with Mushrooms

Madeira Chicken with Mushrooms

Our Valentine's Days have always been fraught with disaster. The first one was great, but after that, it was like a curse descended onto our V-Day plans. One year, our reservations got lost. Another year, the restaurant had a fire in their kitchen and had to close down. There was a time that our car got a flat on the way to our destination, and I think by the fourth year of this, we just gave up on plans. We got the hint.

Madeira Chicken with Mushrooms

This year, I'm giving my Valentine some chicken. Because chocolates are nice, but let's get real, I know my husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and a really good dinner always excites him much more than dessert. It sounds unromantic, I know, but you haven't tasted this chicken. It has an amazing flavor. It has mushrooms, it has onions, it has thyme, and it gets to braise in a magical mix of butter, Madeira and Worcestershire sauce until meltingly tender and fragrant with butter, wine and herbs. The skin gets re-crisped under the broiler, and when you cut into it, you'll want to have lots of crusty country bread on hand to sop up the dark, rich sauce, which might just be my favorite part. Oh, and it comes together with about 15 minutes of work and half an hour of braising, during which you and your Valentine can... well, I'll let you figure that part out. I'm just here for the food.

Madeira Chicken with Mushrooms

Madeira Chicken with Mushrooms
adapted from Williams-Sonoma
serves 6

6 chicken thighs, fat cut off
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. wild and/or cultivated mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Madeira or dry sherry
1 1/2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan or saute pan with a lid, melt the butter on med-high heat and brown the chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion into the pan juices and saute until barely softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until the juices are released, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Madeira and Worcestershire sauce.

Return the chicken to the pan, nestle it in between the mushrooms and onions, cover and braise on medium-low heat until cooked throughout, 20-25 minutes. About five minutes before the chicken is done, pre-heat the oven to broil. Once the chicken is done, put the pan into the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes to re-crisp the skin. Adjust the seasoning in the sauce, stir in chopped thyme and serve immediately over rice or mashed potatoes with lots of bread to sop up the sauce.


Dewi said...

Oh beautiful Irene, thing just doesn't go according to plan. But, it's probably more delicious to have the meal that you make at home. This way, you can put all of those love into it. Your chicken look look absolutely gorgeous, and full of love! Happy Valentine's to you and your family.

Patsyk said...

Looks like a better way to spend Valentine's Day to me! Looks like a fabulous meal.

ChichaJo said...

Valentine's days at home are the best kinds in my opinion! No traffic and crowds and reservations to get lost :) And with food that looks this good even more reason to stay at home! Happy Valentine's!

The Caked Crusader said...

ooh - that chicken looks so golden and succulent!

Anonymous said...

Incredible. It's not even 9am, and you have me craving chicken... and I haven't even wanted to be near chicken for the last 6 months. This looks delicious!

Manggy said...

Correction! It is very, very, very romantic indeed ;) Love it!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

What a delicious Chicken you had prepare. We always stay home on Valentine Day. Too many people in restaurants.

Ash said...

This looks soooo good! I'm officially craving chicken and mushrooms now for dinner!

Lindsay said...

I tried this recipe last night and it was fantastic. So flavorful and looks gorgeous. Popping it in the oven for the last five minutes makes it perfect. Thank you!

Irene said...

I'm so glad you liked it!!! I learned the oven trick from another recipe and it was like, "genius!" because I love the crisped skin, and you just don't get that from straight up braising the chicken.

Tracy said...

How beautiful and it sounds like it tastes amazing.

Sar said...

mmm made this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous. Sherry + chicken = divinity.

Irene said...

Yay! I know - chicken and wine = match made in heaven.

Amanda said...

I had this recipe saved for almost a month now and finally made it tonight. It was met with rave reviews all around, even from my 4 year old who has always turned her nose up to mushrooms! She actually asked for more mushrooms and then went on to request that I make the dish again because it was "very very good!" And it was - thanks for sharing. Absolutely delicious!

Irene said...

So glad you liked it! And also, aww :) very cute about your daughter. Thanks for coming back to tell me about it. These kinds of stories make my day.

Unknown said...

I made the chicken with very dry sherry last night for my boyfriend and he went crazy for it! He was moaning at the table to the brink of inappropriate and reminded me this morning how delicious the meal was.

Thanks, Irene, for making me look like I know what I'm doing in the kitchen!

Irene said...

Hehe awesome!!! Had to laugh at the picture of your boyfriend moaning at the table. My husband totally does that. :)