Simple and elegant dishes are perfect to serve when entertaining or having a romantic dinner for two; dishes that are impressive, yet allow us to spend time with our guests rather than slaving over a hot stove in the kitchen. While I’m sure many of us have had evenings where we’ve spent most of the night in the kitchen whipping up fancy dishes, it’s also nice to keep a few casual recipes on hand for dinner parties or impromptu entertaining that look and taste like you’ve spent hours cooking.
This recipe for Sauteed Chicken and Mushrooms in Champagne Sauce, the slightly updated version of the recipe for Champagne Chicken Breasts shown below on the recipe card, will make you a kitchen hero. It’s an old favorite of mine from about 30 years ago. It’s perfect for that special dinner for two or you can double the recipe if another couple is joining you for dinner or you want to impress the whole family.
I’ve reduced the amount of chicken from the original recipe since chicken breasts are so much larger today than they were in the days the recipe was created (the 1980s). If you do use smaller, organic chickens, you might find that you still need two breast halves per person, so adjust as necessary. I’ve also doubled the amount of mushrooms, since they are the perfect companion to the chicken and pan sauce.
In the new recipe, I’ve replaced sour cream with crème fraiche in the sauce to give it a fresher updated taste which pairs nicely with the champagne and I sprinkle the finished dish with a little fresh parsley for brightness and color. This recipe is simple to prepare with just a few ingredients however, the flavors in the dish are complex. Serve the chicken with wild rice and a spinach salad and you have a lovely special occasion dinner for two or four. Begin the evening with Cosmopolitans and your favorite appetizer or cheese platter.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup cleaned and sliced mushrooms (I use a mix of Crimini and Shiitake mushrooms)
- ⅓ cup champagne
- ⅓ cup crème fraîche
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Pound the thicker end of the breasts once or twice to flatten slightly. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat just until it stops foaming. Increase the heat slightly. Add the chicken to the pan with rib side down. Cook for a few minutes until there is a nice sear on the chicken. Turn over and cook for just a minute more. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add mushrooms to pan and saute just until slightly brown. You may need to add a little butter if the pan is dry to saute them. Once the mushrooms are cooked, set them aside in a bowl.
- Add champagne to the pan and deglaze, stirring to get up the small brown bits. Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon champagne over top to moisten. Place pan in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove pan from the oven. Place the chicken on a platter and keep warm. Heat the pan over medium heat and reduce the liquid slightly. Add crème fraîche to the pan, whisking in to make a smooth sauce. Add the mushrooms to heat through. Taste for seasonings. You can either add the chicken back to the pan and serve from there or pour sauce and mushrooms over the chicken. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
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