Photo by Albert Casciero and FUNGI Magazine
Provenance of Dish
This recipe is from my new book, The Beginner's Guide to Mushrooms book (by Bunyard and Lynch; Quarry Books; 2020). Dried mushrooms allow you to enjoy the flavors of mushroom season, even out of season. Without a doubt, the best mushroom dish that utilizes dried mushrooms was taught to me by my friend and writer Eugenia Bone. I have made it many times and guests have always raved. And it is almost too simple.
Britt Bunyard is director of the Telluride Mushroom Festival and editor of Fungi Magazine.
1 bottle sweet sherry
1 bottle semi-dry sherry
Chicken thighs, skin on, 1 per diner
Dried Morels (no need to rehydrate), 1-2 handfuls
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the preparation, you will notice that none of the ingredients are given measured amounts. That’s because it depends on how many guests you are serving; figure one thigh per guest plus a couple leftover. (Some guests will eat two. Trust me.) Begin by selecting a deep pan that will accommodate all the chicken thighs in a single layer.
Sauté a finely diced shallot or two in butter. Once it’s translucent, remove to a plate.
Add a couple more tablespoons of butter to the pan and sauté all the chicken thighs, skin side down, in a single layer, for several minutes until skin is very brown. Turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking for several more minutes, until the juices are running clear.
Turn the heat down to medium low and sprinkle the cooked shallot over the top of the chicken.
Next throw in a handful or two of dried morels (the amount is determined by how much you love your guests).
Add equal amounts of the two sherries until the chicken is covered.
Cover pan and cook for 10–15 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. You cannot overcook as long as there is still liquid in the pan.
Once cooked down, add cream until you get the sauce to the consistency that is desired. If you add too much, let it cook down.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over pasta.
Accompany with a tossed salad of fresh lettuce and shaved fennel bulb and enjoy a meal you will never forget.