I know I keep bragging, but I swear we've hit the motherlode here on the Oregon Coast. Not only is it heart tuggingly beautiful and very very good for the soul, it's also a source of incredible abundance.
Earlier in the week Big Guy cleared some trees and vegetation on our property and happened across a cluster of chanterelle mushrooms. Of course the resident nag (that would be me) couldn't believe such a glorious thing could be growing wild on our property and seeing how sick Max was a few weeks ago after chowing down on some mystery fungi, Big Guy was "convinced" to take to make a believer out of me. A quick trip to the Visitor's Center at Cape Perpetua and expert advice from a local park ranger and we were truly celebrating our good fortune.
This creamy pasta dish takes advantage of the mild peppery flavor of the chanterelles. I sauteed tender chunks of skinless boneless chicken thighs, onion and garlic in olive oil, kissed with a couple of glugs of sherry and finished it all with heavy cream. A light dusting of dried marjoram, a little lemon pepper and al dente penne hit the pot for a swish.
Meanwhile Big Guy washed the chanterelles, then tore them into pieces and we sauteed them briefly in a pat of butter before garnishing the pasta with the lovely golden strips. Shaved parmesan, a sprinkle of fresh parsley and dinner was ready.
Suffice to say you know who will be doing a lot more mushroom foraging in the near future - that is provided I can get him to hang up his fishing rod for a minute or two. Such is the life, huh!
Creamy Penne with Chicken and Chanterelle Mushrooms an original from JBug’s Kitchen Antics
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs (4 small)
Salt and lemon pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
2/3 cup dry sherry
1 cup heavy cream
Reserved pasta water as needed
8 ounces penne pasta, cooked per package directions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Shavings of Parmesan cheese
3 large chanterelle mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
Heat olive oil in a deep skillet until shimmering. Meanwhile cut chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and season well with salt and lemon pepper. Dust lightly with cornstarch. Sauté in hot pan until golden on all sides. Add onion, garlic and marjoram and stir to combine. Add sherry, cover pan, reduce heat to low simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until chicken is very tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add cream and bring to a boil, then add cooked pasta and toss to coat with sauce. Add reserved pasta water as needed to make a creamy consistency. Add chopped parsley. Meanwhile heat small sauté pan and add butter. When butter is melted, toss in mushrooms and cook until just wilted – about 30 seconds. Serve pasta in bowls and garnish with chanterelles and shavings of parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.
A year ago - Smoked Salmon Pasta
Two year's ago - Peachy Ham Steak
Threee year's ago - Bacon and Tomato Risotto