This month, we’re sharing two recipes from the Stephen Taber
and one from the Isaac H. Evans
where wild mushrooms are featured as a main ingredient. Served with lentils, farm-raised chicken or as a versatile side dish, mushrooms can make all the difference to a meal that matters.
WHITEFOOT FARM-RAISED CHICKEN WITH WILD MUSHROOM PAN SAUCE – Stephen Taber
Whitefoot Farms in Jefferson, Maine supplies us vegetables, some fruit and when we are lucky – chickens. Being raised on a farm with plenty of room to run around, these chickens mature to be delicious juicy roasters – the best we’ve ever tasted. If you are not sure if you have a small, local outfit like this, it is worth the time to seek one out. Serves 4 – 6.
1 chicken about 5 lbs., preferably organic and free range
1½ T chopped fresh herbs, can use thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, rosemary
3T butter, softened
1T orange zest
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 stalk celery
1 carrot, peeled
½ medium onion, cut in half
2 sprigs thyme
4 bacon strips
1 24-inch length of butcher’s twine
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a roasting pan with a rack in the oven to heat. Mix together butter, zest, and fresh herbs.
Rinse chicken, pat dry. Trim wing tips from chicken, along with excess neck or fatty pieces that are not protecting the meat. Carefully work your fingers between the breast and the skin and then between the thighs and skin. Rub butter mixture under the skin and inside the cavity. Liberally salt and pepper the inside, then stuff the cavity with celery, carrot, onion and thyme. Starting with the legs, tie the chicken with butcher’s twine. Wrap it around the sides, tucking in the thighs and wings. Tie snugly, but not so tight as to tear the flesh. Rub all over with salt and pepper, then place two bacon slices over each breast. (You can omit the bacon). Place on preheated roasting pan in the oven.
Baste periodically, turn the pan every 20 minutes. As the skin turns crispy and golden brown, reduce temperature to 400 degrees. Begin temping at the thickest part of the thigh after 50 minutes, then as needed until juices run clear and the thermometer registers 160 degrees. It will reach 165 to 170 degrees as it rests. Pull chicken from the oven and loosely tent with foil.
For the pan sauce:
2T fat from pan, or butter
fond in pan, reserve
3 cups wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced. I like using chanterelles or morels when in season (you can also use cremini or other cultivated mushrooms)
2 T shallots, minced
1 T fresh green peppercorns, rinsed form brine and chopped
¼ c. white wine, or Madeira if your taste prefers
1 T flour
1½ cups chicken stock
Pour off fat from roasting pan, reserving 2T on the side. Heat in the roasting pan over a burner and deglaze with chicken stock. Slowly simmer stock, working from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for several minutes with the bay leaf. Strain and reserve stock for the sauce.
Heat 2 Tbs. fat from the roasting pan in a sauté pan. Sauté mushrooms until very tender. As the juices cook out, they will begin to caramelize. Cook to a golden brown color, then reduce heat. Add shallots and sweat until translucent. Coat mushrooms with flour, adding a touch more butter if the flour does not get absorbed by the fat in the pan. Mix well, allowing flour to toast lightly for a couple of minutes. Deglaze with white wine or Madeira, then reduce slowly until almost dry. Slowly stir in chicken stock, adding peppercorns and seasoning with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, adding more stock if it thickens too much. Carve chicken table side and serve with mushroom sauce.
FRENCH LENTILS WITH CHANTERELLES – Stephen Taber
If you are trying to move away from the traditional meat, starch and vegetable dinner, lentils are a delightful break from the usual potato or rice dish. We use chanterelles because they are delicious, and also because we can find them on many of the islands that we frequent. Serves 4 – 6.
4 oz. bacon, ¼ inch dice
3 cups chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced, can substitute other meaty wild or cultivated mushrooms
1 ¼ cup French lentils, rinsed and picked through for stones
1 small onion, ¼ inch dice
1 celery stalk, ¼ inch dice
1 carrot, ¼ inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1¾ cup chicken stock
1 tsp fresh thyme
salt and fresh ground pepper
Over medium heat, render bacon in a wide pot. Once browned, remove bacon and set aside, leaving fat in the pan. Add mushrooms and sauté over medium high heat until the released juices evaporate, then turn heat down and cook until golden and tender. Remove mushrooms and set aside with bacon. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Sweat vegetables until tender. Return bacon and mushrooms to the pot. Add lentils and stir to coat well with seasonings. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Lentils should cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir often, and taste a few lentils after the first 10 minutes to check on doneness. They are cooked when tender to the tooth, but before they burst open. Season with white wine vinegar to brighten the acidity, then adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with roast chicken or leg of lamb. Serve with your favorite toast.
MARINATED MUSHROOMS – Isaac H. Evans
This versatile side dish needs to be made a couple days ahead in order to let the mushrooms absorb all the flavors of the onions, garlic, and herbs. Serves 4 - 6.
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup diced red onion
2 T sugar
1 T minced fresh garlic
½ tsp black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1½ tsp minced fresh oregano (may substitute a pinch of dried oregano)
½ tsp salt
1½ lbs fresh mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except mushrooms. Add the mushrooms and allow to marinate for 2 to 3 days, stirring occasionally.
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