13 October 2008

Chicken Breasts with Wild Mushrooms, Thyme and Marsala

Chicken Breasts with Wild Mushrooms, Thyme and Marsala
It has been a beautiful weekend here in the wild, wild west. A long weekend to celebrate a Canadian Thanksgiving. As with all holidays we seem to celebrate for days on end. Saturday L'il Burnt Toast and I celebrated with a lovely luncheon at St. Hubertus for the wine festival. Yesterday I was invited to friends for the "full meal deal" turkey and all the trimmings.

The only thing about not cooking your own turkey is there are absolutely no leftovers!!!!!! Therefore I made a pseudo Thanksgiving feast...plenty to be thankful for!!!!!! I served it with a Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing, Maple Glazed Acorn Squash, Creamy Chive Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin Brulee for dessert.

adapted from Bon Appétit February 2006

4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
6 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (such as oyster, stemmed shiitake, and baby bella), thickly sliced
1 cup sliced shallots (about 5)
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons dry Marsala

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then 2 teaspoons thyme. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until just cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter with1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add mushrooms, shallots, and 2 teaspoons thyme. Sauté until mushrooms are brown and tender, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.Combine broth, cream, Marsala, and remaining 2 teaspoons marjoram in same skillet; boil until thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Divide mushrooms among 4 plates. Top mushrooms with chicken. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Serves 4

**Wild Rice and Pecan Bake**

2 – 10 –ounce cans undiluted chicken broth
1-1/2 cups water
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted or 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 cup wild rice
4 green onions
3 large stalks celery
1 cup long-grain white rice
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup toasted whole pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour broth and water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, coarsely chop onion. Stir into broth along with garlic sand butter. Thoroughly rinse wild rice under cold running water. Drain well. Place in a baking dish large enough to hold 8 cups. Pour hot broth mixture over wild rice. Stir, then cover and bake in centre of preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, thinly slice green onions. Coarsely chop celery. Celery should measure about 2 cups. When wild rice has baked 20 minutes, remove from oven. Stir in celery, white rice and raisins. Return dish to oven. Continue baking, covered, until rice is tender and most of liquid has evaporated, from 35 to 40 more minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes to absorb liquid. Stir in green onions and pecans.

Serves 6 to 8

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  1. Well I'm certainly thankful that you posted this terrific menu! YUM! That chicken looks absolutely divine (I think I'd choose it over turkey!), and that rice would be perfect throughout the entire holiday season. Hope you had a wonderful time with your daughter and friends.

  2. A nice little meal Val to enjoy on your extended holiday...i love that maple glazed acorn squash!

  3. A flavorful dish! Yummy!



  4. What a comforting dish Val! I still have to try with wild rice! And Acorn squash... I haven't seen it here for the Joust... its shape it's lovely and I bet the taste too!

  5. Anything that includes Marsala is a hit with me. Lovely recipe.

  6. Oooh! Now all that sounds and looks delish! I'm loving the chicken with Marsala.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving! It all looks lovely.

  8. This dish has my name all over it. I'd prefer chicken and mushrooms than turkey.

  9. This is such a perfect go-to kind of meal.

    A great way to solve the leftover problem when you cook your own turkey is foist them off on everyone else. ;-)

  10. Val this is a lovely meal and such a joy to read this post! The Marsala is perfect to go with this chicken - yum! Passing over my doggie bag *grin*

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Rosie x

  11. What a well-balanced, tasty & beautiful meal...it's never easy to get everything so perfectly together. You've managed that with applomb Val. The squash is ever so pretty!

  12. Pseudo-Thanksgiving feast. LOL. Anything with wild mushrooms is a feast, no doubt about it. :D

  13. Happy Thanksgiving. It was a gorgoeous weekend in eastern Ontario also. Lots of sunshine. Love the wild cranberry rice, overall this is a great menu. I am so full from Sun/Mon meals I think I will need to eat soup for the rest of the week.

  14. The no leftovers problem is why I'll be making a tradition of making my own thanksgiving dinner on the first weekend of November. I'm hoping to start a tradition. Your whole meal looks seriously delicious!

  15. I agree - that's the worst part about spending a holiday at someone elses house - the lack of leftovers! But this looks like a grand substitute for leftovers - delicious!

  16. That looks incredible. I love the colors on the chicken. So fall like!!! I can't wait to try this!

  17. This looks really tasty! I love the fall flavors.

  18. I'm so excited! I cannot wait to try this wild rice & pecan bake---it sounds just perfect for our upcoming Thanksgiving!

  19. That sounds like a really flavorful meal. I really like the sound this. Mushrooms and marsala make a happy Michael

  20. Hi Val! I love the sound of your menu. We usually eat thanksgiving elsewhere, but not this year, and I am quite giddy at the prospect of leftovers for dinner tonight.

  21. Loving the sound of the wild rice.

  22. That dish looks so good!!! I can't wait to try this. I think the girls will love it!

  23. Wow - looks great. Such a good combo too - I love rice bakes!


  24. Oh how beautiful, I mean it's just gorgeous! Happy Thanksgiving.

  25. The chicken totally rocks and good for a diet too.

  26. I love this! I've been hunting down Marsala in Malaysia which is kinda like looking for a needle in a haystack. If I do find some, I'm coming back for this!

    Val, do you think regular wine would work?

  27. We shared in great Thanksgiving weather too! Hope your Thansgiving was restful and memorable.

  28. This is so perfect - the cranberries in the baked rice, that's divine and making your leftovers! ;0)

  29. We had a great Thanksgiving also. This is so nice to be invited by friends. Glad to know your daughter was with you.

  30. I made both the chicken and the wild rice bake for dinner last night. Easy and tasty. The chicken was a BIG hit with both husband and me, the herbs, the Marsala cream, and especially the mushroom/shallot mix. Mmm. I had the leftover piece of chicken today for lunch with some rice and mushrooms. Lucky me.

    The only issue was I forgot the cranberries for the wild rice bake (love that you subbed from raisins in the original). I bet the sweetness would have elevated the dish even more.

    Thanks Val!

  31. Thanks Val - now I know what to do with the chicken breast that's defrosting at home for dinner tonight! Mushrooms may not be wild as such, but I will definitely try an approximation of this delicious-sounding dish.


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