Wild mushroom and black pepper chicken winter warmer

I date an Australian, I’m surrounded by Australians, I love Australians. Except in winter. The moaning about the wet, the wind, the cold and the dark never ends. To help the long winter nights fly a little faster, I throw good intentions out the window and embrace indulgence with reckless abandon. This dish helps me do all this in under an hour.

pepper_mushroom_chicken
You can tell it’s ready when the sauce is thick, the mushrooms are soft and your tummy is rumbling

The key to making this one-pot warmer a success is reducing the mushroom liquor till it’s thick and pungent. The crème fraîche smooths out the harsher edges and survives a reheat should there be any leftovers.

Music to listen to while preparing this dish: ‘I can’t help myself’ by The Four Tops 

Ingredients

  • 30g dried wild mushrooms
  • 12 skinned chicken thighs or 4 skinned chicken quarters
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons full fat crème fraîche (4 for a richer, more luxurious finish)

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in about 300ml of boiled water and let them steep for half an hour. Do not throw away the liquor.
  2. While the mushrooms are cooling, brown the chicken in a little olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan – this is the pan you will be serving the dish in so make sure it can hold all the chicken. While browning, sprinkle with salt on one side and cover in a lot of black pepper on both. This dish can take a lot of pepper, so don’t be shy.
  3. Once, browned, remove the chicken and add the garlic to the pan and cook through for a minute.
  4. While the pan is on the heat, add some of the mushroom liquor to deglaze any of the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. Dig deep and get all the bits off, the dish and your Aussie guest if you have one will thank you for it.
  5. Once deglazed, pop the chicken back in the pan, sprinkle over the rosemary and pour in the mushrooms with the remaining liquor.
  6. Cover and simmer for 15 mins. After this time, remove the lid and reduce the liquor, this should take another 15 mins. Once the liquid is reduced by half, is thick and syrupy in texture, add the crème fraîche and mix into the sauce.
  7. Reduce this for another 10-15 mins until thickened (don’t worry, crème fraîche never splits no matter what heat you subject it to) and serve with onion fried rice. You can find the recipe for that in Noel’s cinnamon lemon chicken.

Serve this with a Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño to cut through the rich creaminess

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