The Irish theme continues with this amazing recipe from Clodagh's Irish Kitchen cookbook. The recipe starts the cooking process on the stovetop (to ensure the chicken skin gets 'crisp') and finishes cooking in the oven. The sauce is lovely with a hint of tarragon and really compliments the chicken. This creamy Irish whiskey sauce is thin, but the mushrooms give the sauce more substance. I found this recipe easy to prepare and elegant to serve! Also, it goes great with the Irish creamed potatoes that I will be posting later this week.
I am not a fan of wild mushrooms, so I used about 10 ounces of cremini mushrooms for the sauce. I removed the stems and quartered them to keep a bit of 'chunk' in the recipe.
The original recipe calls for 'supreme' chicken filets (breast with wing bone attached). I did not find this cut in my local grocery store, and I did not request it from the meat department because of time constraints. Instead, I purchased the typical 'bone in' chicken breasts, and they turned out great. I did have to cook the chicken in the oven for about 15 minutes more for the internal temperature (taken with a meat thermometer and inserted in the thickest part of the breast) to reach 165F.
Shallots vary in size, so even though this recipe calls for 2 shallots, I always prefer to go by measurements. I used about a 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots.
To cook the chicken, I used a 12 inch cast iron skillet. If you do not have an ovenproof skillet, brown your chicken on the stovetop and transfer your chicken to a baking dish. You can then continue to cook your chicken in the oven.
Ingredients for the Crispy Chicken:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
4 'bone in' chicken breasts, skin on
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Ingredients for the Sauce:
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots (about 1/3 cup), peeled and finely chopped
10 ounces of cremini mushrooms (or 10 1/2 ounces of wild mushrooms)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of Irish Whiskey
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic cloves and the chicken filets, skin side down, in the pan. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook until the skin is crisp (about 2 minutes), then turn over and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until your meat thermometer is at 165F.
While the chicken is cooking make your sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the shallots and mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour in the whiskey, and turn up the heat. Let simmer until the whiskey has reduced by half. Stir in the half and half and tarragon. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, reduce the heat to low, and cook for another 5 minutes. Arrange the chicken and spoon the sauce on top. Serves 4.
(edited by Anna Weicht)