Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old recipe, new tricks.

When I was about 12 years old, my mom taught me to make a chicken casserole that we called "Rachael's Chicken Supreme." It was made with chicken breasts, cream of chicken soup, and some form of cooking wine, probably sherry. It was topped with slices of swiss cheese and breadcrumbs and cooked in the oven. Super easy. Super delicious.

I haven't eaten this meal in years but when my mom told me the other day the she and my dad had Rachael's Chicken Supreme for dinner the other night, I remembered the comforting taste and satisfied feeling I had after making it for my family.

Here in Tokyo, we do not have an actual baking oven. We have a stove top with 3 burners, which is great.... but still... no oven. Without an oven, how was I going to recreate Rachael's Chicken Supreme? While the recipe turned into something vaguely reminiscent of it's original casserole, the end result was something more grown up. I guess you could say it's built more for the 25 year old version of me rather than the 12 year old.

I've replaced the cream of chicken soup with a cranberry, walnut and mushroom chutney made with a little whisky, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. I found this to be a surprising but delicious combination of flavors. Tartness from the cranberries. Sweetness from the sugar. Earthiness from the walnuts and mushrooms... The whisky added just the right amount of kick and heat, while the crunch of the walnuts helped to balance the texture of the cranberries and mushrooms.

To adapt to my non-oven way of cooking, I pan roasted the chicken, then put it in our fish oven (like a small broiler) to melt the cheese on top.

Here is the recipe:

Rachael's Chicken Supreme (the revised version)
with dried cranberry, walnut and mushroom chutney

2 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 slices raclette cheese

for the chutney:

1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms, any variety
handful of dried cranberries, chopped
handful of walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup whisky
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
white pepper

For the chutney, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small to medium sized pan. Add the shallot and ginger and cook until fragrant, abou 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, over low heat, for about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and add the cranberries and walnuts. Add the whisky and cook for 30 seconds, then add the brown sugar, stirring constantly. Add the basamic vinegar, salt and white pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, allowing the sides to brown. (Timing may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. If you have the option, I would recommend browning the chicken in the pan then transferring it to the oven, covered in foil, to prevent the chicken from drying out.)

When the chicken is done, top with the raclette and heat under the broiler until it is melted and beginning to bubble and brown.

Transfer the chicken to a plate, top with the chutney and serve with a simple green salad and some crusty bread.

As you can see, my husband seemed to appreciate the meal:


vicarious said...

This looks really good. Now we have a new "Rachael's Supreme" dish.

Brad White said...

Yes, I did enjoy this meal. Every single delicious crumb. MMMMMMMMM!