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December 4, 2007 / Tony

Chicken with a Brandy Mushroom Cream Sauce on Fried Polenta

The inspiration for this dish came from the Steak au Poivre recipe.  I thought that if a brandy cream sauce was good for steak, why wouldn’t it be good for chicken?  And why wouldn’t some sauteed mushrooms be just the thing to make up for any flavor lost by the meat substitution?  And why not put it over some fried leftover polenta?  What I ended up with was a nicely flavor chicken breast that was smothered in a creamy, deeply flavored, slightly sweet, and peppery sauce.  It was so flavorful because each element (shallots, brandy, mushrooms, pepper, and salt) complemented each other so well.  And the fried polenta was amazing.  I’ve had the supermarket variety (it comes in a tube) but I’ve never had anything like this.  It somehow became softer in the inside and crispier on the outside.  And it was far more flavorful because it was homemade with really polenta and the addition of chicken broth and fontina and gorgonzola cheese.  It was a grand meal that bears repeating.  Here’s the recipe for two:

Chicken with a Brandy Mushroom Cream Sauce

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 shallot, minced

1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup brandy

1 cup cream

Lots of freshly ground pepper

Kosher salt

Olive oil

Heat a bit of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  Season and cook the chicken breasts until just slightly underdone.  Remove from the pan and tent with foil.  Add the mushrooms to the pan, drizzling a bit more olive oil if the pan seems too dry.  Season them with salt and pepper.  When the mushrooms are almost done, add the shallots and cook for about a minute.  Then add the brandy and let it reduce until it is a syrup like consistency.  Add the cream next and place the chicken breasts back in the pan along with any juices.  Reduce the cream by about half and then taste for seasoning.  Plate the fried polenta (recipe below) and top with chicken and sauce.  Serve immediately.

Fried Polenta

About 12 oz of polenta in a cooked, cylindrical form, either store bought or homemade (My polenta recipe can be found here)

Flour for dredging

Olive oil

Cut the polenta into 1/2 inch wide rounds.  Dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess.  Heat the enough olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat to cover the bottom.  Fry rounds until deeply crispy and then turn and repeat. 

Here’s a picture of the result:

img_1634.jpg

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