I have great Sisters-in-law. Brian's wife, Kristie, gave me these mushrooms. She picked them on their property. After getting tired of canning hers, she passed me a sack of them. Wow, are they terrific! I tried to go pick some more, since these were so good, but...when she mentioned that there is a bear across the creek and I should take a gun just in case...well, I kind of chickened out. I'm not sure what I would dislike more - meeting the bear, or carrying a gun.
With a bag of just about the freshest chanterelles you can get, what was I going to do with them? As absolutely little as possible, of course! I prefer these sauteed in a little bit of butter mixed with oil, and sprinkled with a little salt. At first, they tend to get just a little slimy, but if you keep on cooking them, that goes away. I cut the larger ones into smaller pieces, but left the small ones whole.
Now for my tip, and it involves cooking mushrooms. Mushrooms have a ton of water in them. If you want a more intense flavor from your mushrooms, before you put them in any dish, saute them a bit in a pan with a little bit of oil. They will taste more flavorful because you have reduced the water content of the mushrooms.
These are just great on pasta with a little bit of chicken added. I served them with some whole wheat shell pasta, and this dish, although incredibly simple, was just an amazing treat.
Chanterelle Pasta with Chicken
Serves 2-3, depending on appetite
8 oz. chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned with a damp towel, and sliced, if large
1 chicken breast, diced into 1" cubes
1 t. salt
1/2 t. white pepper
1 cup dry whole wheat pasta, cooked in salted water
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 c. cream
2 t. butter
1 T. oil
Parmesan Shavings to taste
Heat a medium saute pan on medium high heat. Add butter and oil. When butter has melted, add mushrooms and 1/2 t. salt and saute for 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms just start to wilt and some are lightly brown. Remove from pan.
While mushrooms are cooking, cook pasta, and sprinkle chicken with remaining salt and white pepper. Saute in same pan mushrooms were in until chicken is cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for about 1minute. Add mushrooms to the pan to reheat, and top with cream. Turn down to simmer and let cream gently reduce while finishing pasta.
When pasta has cooked, toss pasta into the chicken mushroom mixture until well coated. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with parmesan cheese shavings.