Chicken with caramelized shallots and portabella-wine sauce

By far, this has to be one of my favorite recipes I have cooked up in my kitchen so far. This recipe comes from my Eva’s Kitchen cook book and originally it’s supposed to be a shiitake-wine sauce, but for the life of me I couldn’t find them anywhere. Neither Trader Joe’s nor the Reading Terminal Market had them (what gives?!), so I decided to go for portabella mushrooms instead. As a side, I made mushroom risotto (the one in a box from Trader Joe’s) and tweaked it with some Adobo seasoning, white wine and red and yellow peppers.

The chicken

6 bone-in chicken thighs or 4 bone-in breasts with skin
Salt (Kosher) and ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 green onions (white and light green parts), chopped
portabella- (shiitake-) wine sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. (Actually, I think I had it at 375°F)
Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot (but not smoking). Add the green onions and shallots and cook, stirring, just until beginning to brown. Arrange the chicken over the onions skin-side down and firmly press the chicken into the onions. Cover and cook until the shallots and green onions are browned and sticking to the skin of the chicken  and the chicken is almost cooked (about 8 – 10 minutes).

About now is a good time to start making the wine sauce (see below for recipe). Now the book says to transfer the uncovered skillet to the oven. Since I wanted – well, needed – to use that pan for my risotto, I transferred the chicken and all onions to an aluminum foil covered (non-stick kind is well worth the price!) baking tray and placed it in the oven. Bake the chicken while you continue preparing the wine sauce. After about 10 minutes, I made sure to seal the chicken in the foil so that it wouldn’t dry out too much.Also don’t forget to start cooking any side you have planned.

The wine sauce

1 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms (in this case portabella), stems removed, caps thinly sliced
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups dry red wine (I used a Merlot)
1 1/4 cups low-sodium beef broth ( I actually used chicken broth instead)
1 tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce (I didn’t have this, so I used BBQ and Hoisin sauce)
2 tsp. cornstarch (you can also use potato starch/ flour, especially if you’re allergic to corn products)
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves

In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter and then add the oil. Then add shiitakes (portabella), shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened.

Add 1 cup of the wine and 3/4 cup of the beef (chicken) broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl. Increase the heat to high and boil wine mixture until reduced to 1/2 cup (10-15 minutes). In another small bowl combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire, and cornstarch. Stir well until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour into the wine mixture along with the remaining 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup beef (chicken) broth. Bring to boil, then simmer for 3 minutes.
Return the mushrooms to the skillet along with the chopped thyme and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the wine sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve.

Your chicken will have cooked fully while you prepared the wonderful wine sauce. All that’s left to do is plate your food and enjoy with the rest of the wine (if you didn’t drink it all while you were cooking).

Bon Appétit.

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