One night, shortly after New Years, I found myself googling “cooking with champagne”. I think part of me was holding on to the holiday spirit and part of me just wanted a reason to drink champagne. I mean, what’s better than a recipe that calls for champagne? You really can’t let the rest of the bottle go to waste, and should enjoy it while cooking.
I came across Chicken au Champagne and have made this dish twice, tweaking with my own modifications.
What You Need:
- 1.5 lbs skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup champagne (used Mumm Brut 1st time and Michelle Brut 2nd Time)
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- Lemon (for juice)
- 2 T Earth Balance (or butter or your preferred butter substitute)
- 2 T tarragon
- Olive oil
What You do:
1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Heat some olive oil in a pan and brown the chicken thighs, about 3-4 minutes each side. Set chicken aside on a paper towel. Add a little more olive oil to pan and saute the minced shallots for 2-3 minutes.
2) Add the chicken back to the pan with the shallots and pour in the cup of champagne. Spoon the champagne over chicken, then transfer the pan to oven (only if it’s oven safe!) and bake for 20 minutes.
3) While the chicken is baking, saute the mushrooms with olive oil. When the chicken is done baking, remove the chicken from the oven and place the pan back on the stove top over low to medium heat. Add the the mushrooms, tarragon, Earth Balance and lemon juice to the chicken pan. Mix together, and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes.
At this point, you have 2 options for the champagne sauce. If you’d like the sauce to be more of a broth, leave everything as is, you’re done. If you’d like to thicken the sauce a little, just make a cornstarch and water mixture and mix it in (instructions for this are usually on the cornstarch box). I prefer the first though!
I didn’t know what to expect, but the flavor was amazing. A french recipe already had me feeling fancy, but a french recipe involving champagne is just super fancy…even if cooking while wearing pajamas. We ate this with wheat bulgar and roasted broccoli …and a baguette to soak up the yummy broth.
This is the perfect home cooked Valentine’s Day dinner. Way better than braving the Valentine’s Day restaurant crowds and prefix menus!
1) You could also eat the chicken and champagne sauce over while wheat angel hair pasta. I did this with the leftovers and it was delicious.
2) Cut back on fat and cholesterol by:
- Using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The flavor will still be great. You can also use skinless chicken breasts.
- Skip the butter and use something like Earth Balance, which is a vegan butter spread that is plant based and made with natural oils. I use this when cooking and baking.
Oh, and here was my post Christmas view while making this the first time. Is it weird that I miss our Christmas tree?