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Sauteed Chicken Breasts on a Mushroom Flan
When my French friend Brigitte brought a piping hot dish of veal scallops set atop a thin mushroom flan to the table at a recent dinner party, I knew I wanted the recipe. The thinly sliced meat had been sauteed until golden brown, arranged over a savory custard of mushrooms and shallots, and then topped with a creamy sauce. Here was a casserole that was both sophisticated and homey at the same time.
In the following recipe veal is replaced with thinly sliced chicken breasts, which are as tempting as the original choice. The flan is prepared with chopped and sauteed mushrooms and shallots that are combined with a light cream mixture scented with Parmesan and brightened with parsley.
This beautiful dish is perfect for entertaining. The flan can be baked early in the day and reheated. Then, at serving time all that is necessary is to quickly cook the breasts and make a pan sauce with white wine and cream. Roasted butternut or acorn squash and haricots verts or green beans would be excellent garnishes.
Sauteed Chicken Breasts on a Mushroom Flan
6 tablespoons unsalted butter plus extra for the baking pan, divided
5 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound finely chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup minced shallots
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg yolks
1 3/4 cup light cream, divided
1/4 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, divided
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large boneless chicken breasts, 8 to 9 ounces each
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 2-quart, shallow oven-to-table baking dish.
Heat 3 tablespoons each butter and oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add mushrooms and saute, stirring, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Mushroom might produce a lot of liquid; cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove mushrooms to a plate. In the same pan, melt another tablespoon of butter and when hot, add shallots. Stir and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add shallots to mushrooms and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Set skillet aside for sauteing chicken.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 3/4 cup of cream, creme fraiche, Parmesan. Stir in 3 tablespoons of parsley, cayenne, and mushroom mixture. Pour into baking dish (mixture will only come 1/2 inch or so up sides of pan) and bake until flan is set and browned, about 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead; reheat in a 350 degree oven, about 15 minutes.)
With a knife held parallel to the work surface, halve chicken breasts horizontally so that you have 6 pieces. Pat chicken dry and season on one side with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place reserved skillet over medium high heat and add remaining butter and oil. When butter and oil is hot, saute chicken until golden brown and juices run clear when pierced with a knife, about 3 minutes per side. Remove breasts to a plate; cover loosely with foil.
Add wine to skillet and whisk constantly to scrape up browned bits on the bottom of the pan. When wine has reduced by one-third, whisk in remaining cream and cook 1 minute or until sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange chicken overlapping down center of the mushroom flan. Nap chicken with sauce and sprinkle with remaining parsley.
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Sauteed Chicken Breasts on a Mushroom Flan - Recipe
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