Saturday, January 27, 2007

Smothered Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce

Unlike the freeze of two weeks ago, the thermometer hovered around the mid-40s at the engine house of the El Dorado Western Railway this morning. We capped productive week with a hearty meal.

Here's what happens when you offer food to the trainmen at the El Dorado Western Engine House:

About noon, I commented to EDWRF President Eric Stohl that the crew was sticking around for the meal. Eric (in white coveralls) didn't seem that amused.

"Yea, but I'm loosing productivity here!"

I think the crew ignored him. Nine volunteers (including the cook) scarfed a large pot of smothered chicken in mushroom sauce. The rice pilaf and cucumbers salad disappeared as well.


I like Pepperridge Farms Herb Seasoned Stuffing because it makes a coarse bread crumb topping. You’ll need about two-thirds of a 16-ounce package. Substitute seasoned bread crumbs if desired.

2 large onions, sliced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
6-ounces unsalted butter, divided use
5 pounds chicken breasts
3 (10-3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups seasoned bread stuffing mix
1/4-cup chopped Italian parsley
2 (5-ounce) packages shredded Swiss cheese

Heat a 14-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter in skillet. Set 4 tablespoons melted butter aside for later use. Add onions and mushrooms. Lightly season with kosher salt. Stir onions and mushrooms frequently for about 2- to 30 minutes until soft, translucent and golden brown golden brown. Set aside in bowl.

Return skillet to heat. Brown chicken breasts over medium-high heat until browned, turning once. Don’t crowd chicken in skillet. Remove chicken to cutting board. Cut against the grain into 1/2-inch slices. Set sliced chicken breast in a single layer in a 14-inch Dutch oven.

Spoon caramelized onions and mushrooms over chicken. Mix soup, thyme and sherry until smooth. Pour over onions and mushrooms. Mix bread stuffing mix, parsley and reserved melted butter. Spread bread mixture over sauce in Dutch oven.

Bake in a 350-degree oven (8 charcoal briquettes underneath oven and 20 on lid) for about 35 minutes. Bread crumbs should be toasted. Spread cheese oven bread crumbs and return lid to oven. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Nine trainmen ate the whole dish today at the engine house. If you allow 5-1/3 ounces chicken per person, you can serve 15 normal eaters.

1 comment:

  1. This looks pretty darn yummy.

    I ran across your blog when I was looking for other El Dorado County bloggers. Lo and behold, I ran across yours...and a brother, to boot. (Praise our Lord.)

    You have some nice photo work going on here, too.

    Grace be with you.