chanterelles and chicken in cream sauce over fettuccini
Because their flavor elements are largely fat soluble, chanterelles shine with cream sauces. Their understated flavor is also well suited to chicken. Putting the three elements together makes a very tasty and satisfying meal.
1 pound boneless chicken, in large bite-sized pieces
1 pound fresh chanterelles
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
• cup finely diced yellow onion or shallot
3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 cup chicken stock, or • cup stock and • cup white wine
1 cup cream
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fettuccini
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Start with boneless chicken or bone out the meat yourself, saving the remains for great stock. I prefer thighs because they are more flavorful and tender than breast meat. Heat a large shallow pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil and brown the chicken on high, working in batches if needed. Once well browned, remove the chicken from the pan and save nearby.
Using the same pan (don’t clean it out), add oil if needed and sauté the onions and garlic, if you choose, over medium heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the chanterelles and sauté until dry.
Return the chicken to the pan and add the stock, and allow the dish to simmer a minute before adding the cream.
Balance the flavors with salt and pepper and serve immediately over cooked and drained fettuccini with cheese as a garnish.
simple morels à la the hinterland
1–2 pounds fresh morels, sliced lengthwise
2 or 3 eggs, beaten
2 cups crushed saltine (or other) crackers, flour, a corn meal and flour mixture, crushed corn flakes, or crushed potato chips
Lots of butter, olive oil, or bacon fat
Salt and pepper, or seasoned salt, garlic salt, Cajun seasonings, etc.
There are as many variations to this recipe as there are for homemade mac and cheese, but the basic theme is consistent. Using fresh morels cleaned and sliced lengthwise, dip the morels into the egg mixture and then dredge them in a coating of whatever happens to be in the pantry and complements the mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, and other spices. Each aficionado swears by his or her own special coating, the simplest being just flour, salt, and pepper.
Once coated, pop them directly into your favorite cast iron skillet or wide sauté pan into which you have already added generous quantities of butter. Fry them over medium heat for at least 4–5 minutes per side until they are fully cooked and browned. Enjoy them hot as an appetizer, main dish, side dish, breakfast, lunch, or snack. Whatever coating or fat you use, this is the most common method for cooking wild morels across the hinterlands of America. And it is good!