When I was little, I used to make a sandwich of sautéed chicken with mushrooms on an English muffin with cheese and grainy mustard. Damn tasty. This is a translation of that flavor profile.
During January when I do my detox and reset my brain in relation to how I think about the food I eat, getting creative is what (I think) keeps me from any horrific cravings. It’s actually fun to come up with dishes that fall under the criteria that I have outlined for myself and still make food that I would be happy eating any time of year. This year, since I had someone that was completely new to the detox thing, but was sweetly willing to give it a shot - well, I wanted to put a little more thought into it.
This chicken dish looks pretty, but it is extremely simple to make. Presentation has always been an important element in treating yourself well. Food that looks great tastes even better. Take five extra minutes for fuck’s sake and bring what your eating up to a higher level. Yes, I do still stand in front of the refrigerator and eat out of cartons and drink out of bottles. However, when you want to be very conscientious of what and how you are eating… best to be mindful and focus on treating your food with the respect it deserves.
With the detox in mind I was staying away from potatoes in this instance. I had originally wanted to do a cauliflower puree to rest the chicken on, but the grocery store only had some really sad specimens. I opted for a green Romanesco (though you do loose a lot of color when cooking). You can definitely use mashed potatoes. Mashed sweet potatoes wouldn’t be bad either.
• 2-4 Chicken Breasts (1 per person)
• Olive oil
• Salt/Pepper to taste
• Romanesco (green or purple - or cauliflower)
• Olive oil
• Salt/Pepper to taste
• A couple of tablespoons of almond milk (I was avoiding dairy at the time and I was out of chicken stock, so you can use milk or cream if you want)
• 8 oz. Package of mushrooms - baby portabellas are fine
• 1 Medium onion cut into a small dice
• 2 Garlic cloves mined
• 1 Tablespoon of capers
• 1 Heaping tablespoon of whole grain mustard
Chopped parsley and dill
Put a pot of water on the stove to come up to a boil so that you will be ready to steam your Romanesco (or cauliflower).
The chicken breasts I used were so huge I don’t want to dwell too much on what caused them to reach their dinosaur size. This being said, I needed to start them cooking first. I didn’t do too terribly much to them other than give them a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. I then seared them on both sides in olive oil on medium high heat to get a nice golden brown color and then put them in the oven at 350º to finish (either registering around 165º or when the juices run clear - I like to pull mine a little under 165 though because they are going to need to rest and the temp will continue to rise a little bit as it sits).
Protein taken care of.
While the chicken was browning on the stovetop, I cut the Romanesco into pieces that would fit into the steamer. Drop them in, lid on, steam until you can easily pierce with a fork. They can steam while you cut up the vegetables for the sauce.
Slice about 8 ounces of mushrooms (you know - the smaller size package of the two you usually see in the grocery store. Chop an onion into small dice. Mince garlic.
Sautee onions in olive oil over medium high heat until they start to get soft. Add salt and garlic. Cook a few more minutes until you can smell the garlic and then add the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are starting to get soft. Taste and season again with salt and pepper. Add capers and mustard. Turn temperature down to low and let it continue to soften and meld.
When chicken is done, pull it out of the oven and transfer the breasts to a plate so that they can rest.
For the Romanesco puree, dump all of the hot steamed pieces into the food processor. Add a very generous drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn on the processor and let it begin to puree. This is when you can start adding a little bit of liquid (either almond milk, chicken stock, milk, or cream) to get it to your desired smoothness. Check the flavor and adjust seasoning as you need to.
Spoon puree into the bottom of serving bowls or onto plates. Add carved chicken on top of that, and spoon mushroom sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley and a little bit of chopped dill.
Tasty dinner is served.
I hadn’t cooked chicken with this sauce in a long time, so I was really please with how it turned out. Like I said, it’s simple - but really good. And, if you happen to have any leftover chicken and mushroom sauce, I would strongly recommend putting it on a toasted English muffin with a slice or two of swiss cheese.