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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Braised Chicken with Cremini Mushrooms in a Frangelico Cream Sauce

Every now and then my experiments don't come out as I had originally anticipated, but I'm usually able to tweak the recipe so that it's edible or in this case FANTASTIC. My kitchen is no different than yours, trust me!

Let me start from the beginning...

The reason for creating this dish to begin with was because as my brother in law John was combing through his liquor cabinet recently, he came across several bottles of Frangelico given to him as gifts. As much as he enjoys it, he would never drink that much so he asked me if I wanted to take a bottle home and make something with it.  And, being Me, I accepted of course....I just love a food challenge!  For those of you unfamiliar with the liquor, it is hazelnut flavored and sweet and usually not used in cooking savory dishes, but rather in sweet recipes like desserts. The challenge was on! 

I started out with a concept of braising chicken thighs and making a reduction out of the Frangelico, but a couple of things happened along the way.  

1. The chicken thighs I had purchased were skinless AND boneless; which made the cooking time shorter than I had anticipated. I did adjust the recipe below to use the bone-in thighs and cooking time. 

2. As I tried to reduce the sauce, it just boiled away and never thickened. So I added the flour and heavy cream to turn it into this cream sauce. 

If you read this blog frequently, you will notice that I tend not to make a lot of dishes with cream sauces as I'm trying to avoid obvious ingredients known to be extremely high in fat since my last cholesterol check was a little high, but luckily I had purchased some heavy cream for a dessert I needed to make and had some left over to use in this dish. 

Thankfully, it all came out perfect in the end. The family loved it despite the craziness happening in the kitchen as I was trying to get this dinner ready on a night where we had to be on a tight time schedule for sports practice pick ups. And of course, I just HAD to stop to take some pictures. Ahhh...the life of a food blogger! 

Braised Chicken with Cremini Mushrooms in a Frangelico Cream Sauce
8 Chicken Thighs, bone-in and skinless 
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10oz. Cremini Mushrooms, washed and halved
1 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 c. Frangelico (or other Hazelnut liquor)
1/4 c. Red Wine (I used a Chianti)
1 c. Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 c. Heavy Cream

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot, then add in the chicken thighs. Lightly brown on all sides, approximately 5-8 minutes, then remove chicken and set aside. It will not be fully cooked at this point. (You may have to do this in batches). 
2. Once all of the chicken has been removed from the pan, add in the mushrooms and rosemary and saute until the mushrooms start to soften. . 
3. Next, stir in the flour, then add in the Frangelico and red wine; mix well. 
4. Add in the chicken broth and heavy cream and mix all ingredients together until it forms a slightly thickened sauce. 
5. Add back in the chicken and simmer on low for approximately 30 minutes to finish cooking off the chicken. Serves 4. 


*Tip: You can also substitute boneless chicken breasts; however, I would dust them with flour, brown in the oil and set aside. Then create your sauce separately to pour over the chicken. 

Happy Halloween! 

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