May 29, 2011

Chicken and Farfalle with Creamy Sherry-Mushroom Sauce

This recipe is adapted from one I found at My Gourmet Connection for Chicken with Farfalle, Mushrooms and Sherry Cream.  I liked the basic idea of that recipe, but I wanted a richer mushroom flavor and a somewhat more seasoned sauce, so I made a few changes to produce the recipe below.

The bold mushroom flavor is what really stands out in this dish.  The creamy sauce is mild, but it doesn't lack for flavor, and transferring the almost-done farfalle into the skillet with the sauce results in the pasta being not just coated with the sauce, but actually taking some flavor into the pasta.  Topped with tender slices of chicken, this makes for a really nice, satisfying meal.

Chicken and Farfalle with Creamy Sherry-Mushroom Sauce

yield = 6 servings

1 1/2           teaspoons table salt
1/3              cup all-purpose flour
1/2              teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4              teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 1/2           pounds chicken breast, sliced lengthwise into
3                 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1                 large onion, sliced crosswise to form rings
8                 ounces crimini (baby portabello) mushrooms, sliced
8                 ounces white (button) mushrooms, sliced
3                 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2              teaspoon dried thyme
12               ounces farfalle
3/4              cup sherry
3/4              cup low-sodium chicken broth
3                 tablespoons heavy cream
3                 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Add four quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of table salt to a large pot and bring the water to a boil. 

Meanwhile, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper and paprika in a shallow dish or bowl.  Add 1/3 of the chicken pieces, stir/turn to cover the chicken on all sides, shake off excess flour and transfer the coated chicken pieces to a plate.  Continue with the remainder of the chicken pieces, then set aside.

Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add half of the chicken pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides (about 6 minutes total).  Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a plate lined with paper towels.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken, then set aside.  Pour off the oil and wipe the pan clean.

Add the final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and heat it to shimmering, then add the onion and saute until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. 

Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring often.  Cook until the mushrooms have given up their liquid and started to brown, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and thyme and cook 1 minute. 

Meanwhile, add the farfalle to the boiling water and cook it about one minute less than suggested by package directions.

Add the sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, then.  Cook, turning the chicken often, until the pan liquid is starting to thicken and coat the chicken pieces.  Again transfer the chicken to a plate. 

Stir the cream and parsely into the sauce and cook 2-3 minutes.  Taste, season with additional salt and pepper if desired, then add the farfalle to the pan.  Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick and the farfalle is tender and fully-cooked.

Transfer portions of the sauce-coated farfalle to plates and top with portions of the chicken pieces.  Serve.

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