I want to share one of my favorite books that is brilliantly written and is packed with information, which some do consider the backbone of cooking. The book I have in mind is “Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making” by James Peterson, covering everything from the basics of sauce making, including ingredients to historical notes on how sauce making has evolved. It also has some of the best advices and explanations on cooking I have read. This book is not for the faint hearted though: counting more than 600 pages and few illustrations, it is a serious reading, but a must if you take cooking seriously.
Having said that, I have only started using the advices and cooking accordingly. Even so, every time I take a peak, it always gives an idea or two. A few years back, when the book just arrived, one of the first pages I flipped was on Port and Mushroom sauce. I spend the whole day drooling about the idea of using port and next time making a mushroom sauce swapped the white wine with Port. It tasted superb to say the least and was a definite keeper. I do have on my list to make the sauce according to the book which would require a good quality brown stock reduction, but for now, when a quick and different dish is yearned for, here is my version.
- 30g butter
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 200g button mushrooms
- 150ml port wine
- 100ml cream
- salt and freshly grounded pepper
- fresh parsley, for sprinkling
- Melt the butter in a pan, season the chicken and cook it on both side for 3-5 minutes until nicely brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Slice the mushrooms and brown the in the same pan where the chicken was cooking. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do this in two batches: if too many mushrooms will be added they will cook in their own juices instead of browning. Add more butter if needed.
- When the mushrooms have browned add the port and let it bubble for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in cream, return the chicken to the pan and cook for a 5 more minutes, just enough to let the sauce thicken. Taste to check the season and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve the chicken with boiled rice and a sprinkle of parsley.