Broiled Fowl and Mushrooms—Capital Thing!

“Mr. Winkle turned to Mr. Pickwick, and murmured a few words; a whisper passed from Mr. Pickwick to Mr. Snodgrass, from Mr. Snodgrass to Mr. Tupman, and nods of assent were exchanged. Mr. Pickwick addressed the stranger.

‘You rendered us a very important service this morning, sir,’ said he, ‘will you allow us to offer a slight mark of our gratitude by begging the favour of your company at dinner?’

‘Great pleasurenot presume to dictate, but broiled fowl and mushroomscapital thing! What time?’

Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers (1836)

It was an exceptional day for chanterelle hunting in Santa Barbara County. A gloomy afternoon beneath a weepy sky and the leaf mulch was moist and dark. The brightly colored golden-orange chanterelles were glowing in the darkened conditions like jack-o-lantern pumpkins on an unlit porch. I could spot them from 20 yards away. The constant slapping of rain drops falling through the oak canopy to the forest floor was the only sound.

Chicken and chanterelles in a Madeira wine butter-cream sauce. I came up short in extra sauce; a ladle full over the top of everything would have been good.

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3 Responses to Broiled Fowl and Mushrooms—Capital Thing!

  1. Anonymous says:

    sounds wonderful Jack. Happy hunting.

  2. heather says:

    Sounds delicious! Would you be willing to share the recipe? Thanks for the great posts.

    • Jack Elliott says:

      Hello Heather. I don’t really have a recipe, just sort of put some things together. I pan fried the chicken thighs in an iron skillet with a touch of butter over high heat until browned on each side. Then I removed the chicken and added a cup of Madeira and cooked off the alcohol and reduced it by half, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then I added a half cup of cream and mixed on low heat until blended. Then returned the chicken to the pan and smothered it in the sauce, put a lid on the pan and cooked on low heat to finish the chicken.

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