The extraordinary sparkling wines of the Champagne region are famous and loved the world over. In cooking, these wines impart delicate flavour to a dish. This lovely recipe, featuring Champagne partnered with chicken and small mushrooms, is easy to make but fancy enough for a special occasion.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 pieces chicken, on the bone
- 2 French shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Cognac
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ bottle Champagne or sparkling white wine
- 600 g mixed mushrooms
- ½ cup (125 ml) cream
- ¼ cup finely cut chives
- 12 asparagus spears, sliced, steamed, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes, turning, until browned all over. Stir in the shallot and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the cognac and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, then add the Champagne. Bring to a simmer, cover with a round of baking paper then a lid, and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook mushrooms for 3-4 minutes or until softened and golden.
Transfer mushrooms and chicken to a bowl, plate or tray, and cover to keep warm. Heat chicken cooking juices over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until reduced to about ½ cup. Add cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Return chicken and mushrooms to sauce and heat for 5 minutes until warmed through.
Divide mushrooms among serving plates and top each with two pieces of chicken. Spoon over sauce and sprinkle with chives. Serve with asparagus.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Alice Storey.
Props by Hayden Youlley Design.
In-video photography by Peter Warren.