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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms

A June 2010 Daring Cooks challenge - a really original twist on pasta sauce. 
Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 2 (out of 5)
For Pecan Cream:
- 3/4 cup / 180 ml coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 cup /240 ml water
- 1 cup / 240 ml milk 
- 3/4 tsp salt, more as needed
- 1/2 lb / 225 g pasta
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 tsp olive oil, more as needed
- salt & pepper to taste
For Sauce:
- 1 tbsp deglazing liquid (water, broth, wine; optional)
- 1 tsp olive oil, more as needed
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 lb / 225 g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- chopped pecans, (optional garnish)
Total 4 servings
1. Prepare pecan cream. Grind pecans in a food processor for about a minute or so until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add water, milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Set aside pecan cream.
2. Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain, rinse, and keep warm.
3. If desired, pound chicken to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness to promote even cooking. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; sauté 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside cooked chicken on a clean plate, cover to keep warm.
4. Add deglazing liquid to pan if using and stir up any browned bits. If needed, add another teaspoon of oil (or more) to pan for sautéing the shallots and mushrooms. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and starting to brown. Add fresh thyme to the pan. Stir in pecan cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 minutes till reduced slightly.
5. Slice chicken into thin strips. Divide the noodles among serving plates. Add a scoop of the mushroom pecan sauce on top of noodles. Lay sliced chicken on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and/or a pinch of chopped pecans if desired.

- A great recipe - I never would have thought of making a pecan sauce for chicken, but it turned out really yummy! Thanks to Margie and Natashya for the brillian idea :-)
- The sauce turned out too salty for me (but I barely use any salt at all, so maybe I’m not a good indicator for others). I added milk to dilute the saltiness - the original recipe did not have any milk, only water. It was still too salty, but the milk added a nice creamy texture. Next time I’ll reduce the salt and keep the milk.
Blog-checking lines
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by
Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.


Audax said...

Lovely work on this challenge and the recipe sounds delicious. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Jo said...

Great job and the dish looks so awesomely delicious. Love the photo!

Margie said...

Your pecan mushroom sauce looks creamy & delicious! Adding milk was a good idea. I think I'll give that a try.

cuppy said...

Salted pecans? I felt like mine didn't have *enough* salt, so I'm probably not a good indicator either. ;) And I put a ton of heavy cream in mine, instead of water or broth.. heh

I'm glad you put your thoughts at the end of your post; I like reading what people really thought of a recipe. Honesty is refreshing!

David and Stacy said...

We didn't have any saltiness issues, but we didn't use the full amount 'suggested'. Sounds like you were able to adjust it ok.

Well done!