Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chicken with Mushroom Demi-Glace for a Sauce It Up #SundaySupper

Chicken with Mushroom Demi-Glace

This week, the team at #SundaySupper Movement has decided to Sauce It Up so I thought I would take the opportunity to profile one of five mother sauces of classic French cuisine. In the past, I've only prepared two of the five in their purest form: Hollandaise and tomato; plus I've prepared derivatives of the Hollandaise and a Béchamel. This week, I have decided to prepare a derivative of a Espagnole: the demi-glace.

The Challenge

Expand my understanding of the five mother sauces.

The Source

I adapted this Robert Irvine dish I found on


3/4 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces: 2 breasts, wings, thighs, legs (I used 4 bone-in skin-on thighs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Leaves from 1 large sprig fresh thyme
Spinach leaves, for garnish


1. Complete your mise en place. Place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour hot water over them and let them soak for 30 minutes to rehydrate. Once complete, strain the mushrooms through paper towels, reserving the soaking fluid and the mushrooms. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Cook the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Once hot, brown the chicken on all sides, then remove to a foil-lined baking sheet. Place the chicken in the oven and cook until the fluids from the chicken are clear and is fork tender, approximately 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest to allow for any carryover cooking.

3. While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the demi-glace. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the red onion, garlic and celery and sauté until lightly browned and softened. Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping any fond from the bottom of the pan. Let most of the wine evaporate, then add the chicken stock, tomatoes, parsley and thyme. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half, then strain out the solids. Place the fluid back into the saucepan and whisk in 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking fluid. Warm the sauce so that the flavors infuse. Remove from heat and fold in the mushrooms. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary. To plate, spoon some sauce onto a warmed plate, top with chicken and garnish with spinach leaves.


Unfortunately, there was a gap in time between when I finished the preparation of the dish and when I finally sat down to taste a cold meal. While the chicken was flavorful, the flavor of the mushrooms over-powered every other flavor in the sauce and not one of my better tasting dishes. I can't imagine this sauce being a classic and not being flavorful so I'll make another attempt in the future.

If I may, I'd like to comment on a poultry producer that has been in the news recently. If you're unaware, the Food Safety and Inspection Service traced a salmonella outbreak to three plants owned by Foster Farms that sickened over 300 people in twenty states, mostly in the west. A public uproar followed after Foster Farms declined to recall it's product. Normally, I am skeptical of a company that refuses to take no action against a potentially dangerous product but in this case, I understand the position of Foster Farms. Salmonella is a naturally occurring bacteria in raw poultry, so what is one supposed to do? First, follow raw poultry safe handling practices to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Second, cook the chicken to a temperature of at least 165° Fahrenheit which will kill the bacteria. I also read to cook leg quarters and wings to 175° Fahrenheit just to be sure.

This week's Sunday Supper Participants

Sunday Supper Movement

And finally, please check out this week's Sunday Supper contributors:

Savory Sauces
Pasta Sauces and Pastas with Sauce
Entreés with Sauces
Sweet Sauces
Desserts with Sauces
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  1. Only you know about the taste, DB, but the sauce and chicken look delicious. I love the garnish of fresh spinach leaves. I wonder if you used either fresh shitakes or perhaps another milder mushroom if the other flavors might shine through more. Certainly the combination sounds wonderful to me. Thanks so much for hosting this great theme!

  2. Ohhh Foodie Stuntman, this looks ab-so-lutely amazing! Mushroom, garlic, thyme goodness all the way. Thank you so much for hosting such a fun event and sharing this awesome dish!!

  3. This looks incredible!! Thank you so much for hosting this week :)

  4. Thank you for hosting this week! Your sauce looks so delicious! What a perfect meal!

  5. For something that wasn't your favorite it sure looks great! I'm sure you will make this "work" in the future! Thanks for hosting such a great theme!

  6. Your recipe looks fantastic. Thanks for hosting!

  7. One of my culinary goals is to learn the mother sauces. I'm definitely a baker, but when it comes to cooking, my knowledge is limited. I watch shows like Top Chef and Chopped then go, uh how did they know to do that?! Haha Great job hosting this week!

  8. I think this looks and sounds lovely! Thanks so much for hosting this week :)

  9. Thats great.. thank you for hosting

  10. Oh my goodness that looks amazing! This is my kind of meal!

  11. Thanks so much for hosting us! And I'm impressed with your demi glace...even though it wasn't perfect, you're now familiar with the method. I know your next attempt will be wonderful. Please share!!!

  12. Thank you so much for hosting this week. This looks delicious! Even if it wasn't what you expected, I am sure the next time will be even better!

  13. I love a good pan sauce like this. I'm sure it will turn out better the next time - I often find recipes are better once I've made them a couple of times.

    On a serious note, I had been wondering about the chicken with salmonella. I thought proper cooking killed the bacteria, but it is rather amazing that so many people are eat undercooked chicken. Scary stuff!

  14. That sure does look good!! Thanks for hosting #SundaySupper this week! I loved it!

  15. Divine and restaurant worthy!!! Thanks so much for hosting!!!!

  16. Too bad about the overwhelming mushroom flavour, DB. Thanks for giving an honest critique of your dish. I'm the same way - I'm always the first to point out any flaws in my dish. Despite that, your dish still looks amazing and the sear on your chicken is perfect. I'm always terrified of food poisoning so I overcook my meat a lot. Better my chicken be a tad dry than me spending quality time with my toilet! Thanks for hosting this week and for putting all the work in!

  17. Never thought to combine mushrooms and chicken, interesting!

  18. mmm sounds delicious, I love mushrooms!

  19. Very nice; thank you or hosting! ~ Bea @ The Not So Cheesy Kitchen


Feedback is always welcomed. If you're going to be critical, be constructive. In other words, be nice.