Chicken with morels: a delicious and festive French traditional dish
Looking for a comforting poultry dish replacing turkey stuffed with chestnuts for Christmas? Have you ever tried a generous chicken with morels?
This dish is very convenient for the festive season: you can prepare it in advance and just warm it at the very last moment.
It is really delicious: the creamy sauce is rich in flavours, the chicken is melting and the morels are memorable!
The main ingredients are: farm chicken from Bresse, “yellow” wine, morels, double cream, shallots… Morels and yellow wine are quite expensive so this French regional specialty will preferably be served for a very special dinner such as Christmas or New year’s Eve. If you don’t live in France, it will be almost impossible to find these very French products. Don’t worry, very good alternatives exist. Besides, for other occasions or for limiting your budget you can also decide to replace these products by others more affordable. For both reasons and for being as close as possible to the original magic taste I recommend you the following substitutes:
- The “yellow wine” is a French dry white wine coming from the Jura, a Mountainous region boarding Switzerland. In France call it “the gold from Jura”. Its flavours are curry, saffron, mushroom, ginger and walnuts. Its taste is unique and outstanding. In France, we can replace it by a “vin de paille” such as “Arbois”, “Côtes du Jura” and “l’Etoile’, by a “Gewurtzraminer” or a “Pinot gris” from Alsace. You can also replace it by another dry white wine from Burgundy. Another good option is the Hungarian Tokay which grape variety is very close. If any of these options are unavailable, take a dry white wine from your country ?
- In the original recipe, the poultry is a chicken coming from Bresse (a French region below Burgundy, above Lyon and close to the French-Swiss boarder). Besides its regional origin, its particularity is its incomparable taste. It’s a free-run chicken, fed with cereals and natural products, it’s a genuine farm product. You won’t probably find it in your country, so the best option is to replace it by a top-quality free-run farm chicken fed with natural and traditional products from your own country… For being very easy, you can also just take four chicken legs…
- Concerning morels, you can limit their quantity and mix them with other mushrooms: woodland mushrooms and even cultivated mushrooms. In this recipe I use dried morels that we can find at any time of the year but in autumn don’t hesitate to replace them by fresh ones. Just multiply by five the quantity…
Farm chicken with morels recipe
For 4 servings
- Preparation: 30 minutes
- Waiting time: 30 minutes (if you you dried morels)
- Cooking: 120 minutes
- Total: 3 hours
- 1 farm run-free chicken (or 4 legs if you prefer)
- 2.82 oz (80g) of dry morels or 10.6 oz (300g) fresh morels (or a mix morels-mushrooms). I have also tried a mix morels-ceps. It’s delicious.
- 1/2 cup (25 cl) of white wine
- 2 shallots
- 1 cup of chicken broth (you can use chicken stock cubes)
- 2 cups (50 cl) of double whole cream (never use light cream for this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 0.7 oz (20g) of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of flour (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Remember in the genuine recipe, chicken is from Bresse, wine is a “vin jaune” or “yellow wine” and you have only morels…
- Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. Salt and pepper each side. Brown them with butter and oil in a cast-iron simmer pot.
- Pour hot water on the morels in a bowl and let them rehydrate during 30 minutes. Drain them.
- Peel and chop the shallots
- When the chicken pieces are coloured, remove them and keep them in a bowl. Remove all the fat from the sauce and throw it. Then, add the morels, the shallots, the flour, the wine and the cream. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood spoon to blend the meat juice with the other ingredients. Add the chicken broth and mix well. Add the chicken pieces again and let simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes.
- Season the preparation and remove the pieces of chicken. Keep them in a bowl.
- Keep cooking the sauce uncovered to reduce it until getting a good texture. It took me about one hour
- 15 minutes before serving warm the sauce with the chicken at low heat (in the covered pot)
- Serve the chicken generously topped with the creamy morel sauce
- Enjoy your chicken with morel and serve it with a small quantity of fresh pasta or baked potatoes
Comment: if you want an even more perfumed sauce, you can double the quantity of wine (1 cup instead of 1/2). In that case, double the time of cooking for reducing the sauce (once you have removed the chicken…)
Chicken with morels wine pairing
The key idea is always to serve the same wine you use in your sauce. It has to be necessarily a dry white wine. If you prefer a red wine then change recipe and prepare a “coq au vin”, which is also a key regional French recipe, prepared with red wine.
For the Morels chicken (“Poulet aux morilles”), it can be:
- Yellow wine (“vin jaune”)
- A “vin de paille” such as “Arbois”, “Côtes du Jura” and “l’Etoile’,
- Pinot gris
- A dry white wine from Burgundy
- Hungarian Tokay
Willing to try other French Christmas recipes?
I recommend you:
- Orange duck breasts
- Crispy monkfish tail with Serrano ham
- Oyster and bacon creamy soup
- Crayfish with lemon and herb butter
- Scallops carpaccio with mango
- Christmas biscuits “Winàchtsbredele”