Two Simple Recipes With A Similar Cooking Style

Simple Pan-fried Chicken Breasts with Mushroom-Chardonnay Sauce – Serves 4

Here are two recipes that use the saute method of cooking and provide a pan sauce using a mixture of mushrooms to create a simple yet flavorful dish.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

What you’ll need

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets or breast halves pounded flat
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. Butter and olive oil
3 shallots, sliced
2 cups (6 oz.) mushrooms of your choice, such as morels, chanterelles or button, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. minced fresh (1/2 T dried) thyme
1/4 cup chardonnay
1 cup chicken broth

Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the chicken. Cook until browned on one side, 3 minutes. Turn; cook until browned on the other side, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low; cover pan. Cook until chicken is almost cooked through, 5-8 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate; cover lightly with foil.
Add shallots to the skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze  the pan, stirring up browned bits, reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth; cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Taste for and correct seasoning with the a little salt or to taste. Return chicken and its juices to skillet, add the remaining 1 Tbsp. of the butter, heat 1 minute. Transfer chicken and sauce to a serving dish.

Woody the Wine Guy’s Picks

My wine picks are meant to be a guide as to the type and style of wine that best match with the recipe. Don’t be concerned if you can’t find these wines in your local stores just ask your wine merchant for a wine of a similar type and taste.

Cotes du Rhone, France

The mushrooms and the wine are the story here as well as the thyme. Look for a deeper style of Cotes that is food friendly and they are truly food wines.

’05 Castello Di Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi

This is the better of the two wine matches and goes to show that Chianti is a real “go to’ wine for simple food and this is no exception. The wine is a blend of Sangiovese and merlot and has a deep ruby red in color, nice fruit on the nose with a smooth palate and a nice finish with fruit and vanilla notes. We liked both of the lesser wines with this dish because they didn’t over power the mushroom flavors so try a bottle of each. R 89 $11.49


WGWW Pork Cutlets with Mushrooms & Pan Gravy
Serves 4

Same cooking style as the chicken recipe but the flavors of this mushroom mix take it in a completely different direction.

You’ll need

1 tablespoon dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
4 pork loin cutlets (you can also use tenderloins and cut one inch slices and pound them into medallions), each about 1/2 inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (3/4 large) + sprig for garnish
1/4 cup brandy or grappa or substitute dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
6 oz. (12-15) fresh button or Cremini mushrooms stems removed, thinly sliced

Here’s what to do

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Rub the cutlets with the salt and pepper.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the cutlets and brown them, about 2 minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the sage.
Increase the heat to high and add the brandy and flame to burn off the alcohol and to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Add the chicken broth, and reduce the heat to low. Use a fine mesh strainer and drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms and a tablespoon of their liquid to the pan. Add the fresh mushrooms, and cover. Simmer until the cutlets are cooked through and the mushrooms are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the cutlets and stir in the remaining sage, reduce the pan juices if needed. Pour over the cutlets and garnish with the sprig of sage. Serve hot.


Woody the Wine Guy’s Picks

I figured that Pinot Noir might be a match try a simple Bourgogne from France or a Pinot  from Oregon where they are making wine in a Burgundian style.

Roasted Shrimp & Mushrooms with Ginger & Green Onions
Serves 2

If you are looking for a different take on shrimp you’ll love this recipe, which could be served as an appetizer or main course.

You’ll need

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, white part only
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
10 uncooked shelled and deveined large (31-35/lb) shrimp
4 ounces Shitake mushrooms stems removed, sliced
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Ceramic or glass casserole big enough to hold mixture in single layer

Here’s what to do

Mix canola oil, onions, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, ginger, and sesame oil in medium bowl, season generously with salt and pepper. Rinse and pat dry the shrimp and place in mixture to cover. Marinate for at least an hour or longer.

When you have finished marinating, add the mushrooms to the shrimp/onion mixture in the bowl and gently mix. Pour into baking dish. Roast shrimp until opaque in center and mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes. Divide between 2 plates.


Woody the Wine Guy’s Picks

(unoaked) Chardonnay works here and there are several of them out there.

Domaine  Bourgogne Chardonnay, France

Perhaps I could send a bottle of this style of wine to California Chardonnay vintners so as to establish what a “little oak” tastes like. This is a simple Chard from Burgundy but usually tastes like a lot more with melon flavors followed by a bit of a mineral and a hint of lemon, nicely balanced and lovely with the shrimp.