This recipe has been adapted from a delightful dish that Nicole and I enjoyed on the Atlantic Coast of Spain, which was made with quail and a mushroom-saffron sauce. It is easy to prepare and has a lovely and delicate flavor. I am assuming that most people would have trouble finding quail or pheasant for this recipe, so I chose chicken, and you can use chicken breast or chicken thighs as you prefer. For a vegetarian option, you could even substitute tofu for the chicken, and cover it with the mushroom-saffron sauce, using vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. I recommend serving this dish with a steamed green vegetable on the side to compliment the flavor and provide a splash of color.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Oven Baking Time: 30 minutes
12 ounces chicken breast, cut into 1-inch wide strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 pinch saffron (1/4 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons ghee
½ medium white onion, chopped finely
4 cups wild mushrooms, sliced (chanterelles, shiitake, porcini, or oyster mushrooms)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons almond flour (or almond meal)
Preheat oven to 325°(F).
Meanwhile, in a baking dish, combine chicken, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and thyme. Bake for 30 minutes until internal chicken temperature reaches 165-170°, about 30 minutes.
While chicken is baking, heat chicken stock in a saucepan until gently bubbling. Smash saffron stamens between your fingers and drop them into the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove the pan from heat and set aside.
Next, prep onion and mushrooms, then heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat, add ghee, onion and heat with an occasional stir for two minutes. Next, add mushrooms and salt and cook with an occasional stir for 3 minutes until mushrooms have softened.
Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir occasionally with mushrooms for about 4 minutes.
Pour chicken stock with saffron from the saucepan into the sauté pan and reduce to a low simmer for about 10 minutes with a rare stir and continue to heat until chicken is cooked. You want the liquid to thicken into a sauce, but if it becomes a bit dry, add a few tablespoons of water or white wine to maintain a medium-thick sauce.
Lastly, add chicken to a serving dish, pour the mushroom-saffron sauce into the serving dish mixing with the chicken, and serve.
Steven Masley, MD
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