For purists, morels really should simply be sauteed lightly in butter and eaten all by themselves. This way the pure, unadulterated flavor is front and center. And if you’ve never had morels, try them this way first. But once that’s done, it’s really time to explore other morel recipes. And when you do, we really recommend you navigate directly to cream sauce.
• 4 Chicken Thighs with skin and bone
• Kosher Salt and Pepper to Taste
• ½ Teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
• 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Juice of One Lemon
• Cup of Fresh Morel Mushrooms
• 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 Tablespoon Butter
• 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
• 2 Tablespoons Fresh Tarragon, chopped
• ½ Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
• ¼ Cup Sherry
• 1 Cup Half and Half
• 1 Tablespoon Whole Wheat Flour
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Head a large skillet over medium high heat on the stove top. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and fry, skin side down, in olive oil until the skin is crispy and brown (about 10 – 12 minutes).
2. Flip the chicken pieces and add the lemon juice and paprika. Cover and place in the oven to braise until tender (about 20 minutes).
Morel Mushroom Sauce
1. Meanwhile, carefully brush any sand or debris off of the morel mushrooms. Slice them in half and brush out any sand that might be in the hollow interior.
2. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in another skillet over medium heat. Add the morels and saute until tender and just beginning to brown (about 6 – 8 minutes). Remove mushrooms from skillet and set aside.
3. Add the onion and the butter to the skillet. Saute the onions until soft and translucent.
4. Add the tarragon and pepper and cook a few minutes more.
5. Deglaze with the sherry. Continue cooking until sherry is reduced by half. Add the half and half and the mushrooms. Cook until cream sauce bubbles and is reduced by about ⅓. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir to incorporate. Continue simmering until sauce thickens.
6. Serve the chicken with morel tarragon cream sauce on the side.
Credit: Steve Heikkila: