Delicious. No wonder this recipe is a Food and Wine staff favorite. Although I must make a confession. One ounce of dried morels in my grocery store came with a $17.99 price tag and I wasn’t about to buy them, especially since my husband won’t touch mushrooms. I settled for the “Woodland Blend,” containing some morels, for $7.99. I don’t think dinner suffered for this small substitution. I’ve never had the chance to go searching for morels, but always saw stories about them in the Washington Post when we lived in Virginia. I understand that 2008 was a banner year for them in the Washington, DC/ Northern Virginia region — at least, so said the Washington Post: The Morel of This Story is a Mushroom.
I only made a couple other changes to the recipe. One was to halve the ingredients and use two bone-in chicken breasts, and the other was to cook the chicken longer. Turning up the heat would have burned the shallots and mushrooms, so I just kept cooking, for a total of 30-35 minutes. I added about 1/4 cup of water along the way, too. The chicken was still juicy and the shallots and mushrooms weren’t overdone.
I served the chicken and asparagus on a bed of pre-made mashed potatoes. I’m a sucker for the mashed potato-asparagus combo, and it’s particularly good with this mushroom sauce. Crabcakes also make a great main course with asparagus and mashed potatoes.
PS — I think the last time I heard the term “fricassee” was in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. From what I can tell, it means a stew of poultry and vegetables cooked in butter and other liquids. Good stuff — I’d do it again.