Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pretentious Poulet or Austerity Chicken?

We always celebrate New Year's with champagne. In a good year it could be a bubbly Prosecco and in a not so good year Cook's Grande Brut Reserve. Now that's pretentious! It's $5 for Cook's for heaven's sake! The cork pops at midnite, we each drink about half a glass. The dog may or may not imbibe. He is a beer connoisseur and rarely licks (yes, that's licks) other types of alcohol. So we have leftover champagne for Mimosas on New years Day. A glass each and so we have leftover champagne. You can see where this is going, right? We've reached the end of the drinking part but not the end of the champagne. What to do? Cook with it.

I collect cookbooks. I have a whole cabinet full. Then along came the internet. A never-ending supply of recipes. I am forever telling my husband to "just Google it" as there is an answer for everything. So I just Google the key words and see what happens....I'm thinking Mimosas (leftover champagne and orange juice) and chicken because there are all sorts of chicken and wine recipes. So, after reading most of them, there is a recipe forming. This qualifies for our "pretentious austerity" label as it uses champagne and orange juice but as leftovers along with baby bellas and blsl chicken breasts. No shopping...everything out of the fridge and freezer and a few basics off the shelf.

Chicken breasts
Flour with pepper and Italian blend seasoning added for dredging
Baby bella mushrooms  8 oz.
Champagne  1/2 c.
Orange juice  1/2 c.
Olive oil

Pound chicken breasts flat. I have been known to just slice them in half horizontally. Remember when blsl chicken breasts were about 4 oz.? They were already flat! Dredge them in the flour mixture. Melt 2 tbsp. of butter and 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Stick a fork in and juices should run clear. Take the chicken out and cover to keep warm. Add another tbsp. of oil to the pan if necessary and put in  the sliced mushrooms. You can use any kind but I prefer the flavor of the baby bellas. Saute the mushrooms for a few minutes until they start to soften and then take them out and put with the chicken. Using the same pan, as it now has crispy bits from the chicken and juices from the mushrooms, melt one tbsp. of butter and scrape up all the good stuff in the pan. Sprinkle one tbsp. of flour over it and stir. The flour should dissolve and you want to keep scraping and stirring so there are no lumps and the flour gets cooked. While stirring, gradually add the Champagne and then the orange juice. Cook for a minute or so. When the sauce has slightly thickened, add the chicken and mushrooms back in just to warm them up.

When I served this for dinner, he said "too bad New Year's only comes once a year".


  1. That is absolutely keeping within the pretentious Austerity theme...LOVE IT!!! Easy, too!