You had a great mushroom hunting season, you crushed the chanterelles, boletes, and all the mushrooms you wanted to get. You made duxelles, and put some in the freezer for a rainy day in the off-season. Great, but now what do you do with the duxelles?
Any species of mushroom for duxelles will do.
Improvising duxelles with dried mushrooms
How to get the crispiest skin on a chicken breast
You want that rock hard skin that goes “tink-tink-tink” when you tap it. Everyone knows crispy skin is addictive as crack, and I love a good roast chicken, but lets be honest, you can’t do it everynight, and getting a whole bird to have crispy skin is a feat. A quick-trick weeknight fix is a bone-in, skin on breast that will cook in about 15 minutes. A quick vacation in the oven and that bird’s coming out singing. It’s the same way I cook them at restaurants, as do most chefs.
There’s a couple tricks to getting a rock-hard chicken skin though. You don’t have to use all the tips I outline, but following them will give a superior product. Don’t have time to dry brine the bird overnight? No prob. Dry the chicky boobs off really good with paper towels, season them and proceed à la Minute. Here’s what I suggest:
Dry Brine Overnight
This means season the chicken with salt and pepper the night before, then leave it out UNCOVERED, skin side up in the refrigerator, so that the skin dries out. Freaked out from memories of old steak you forgot about in the fridge? Don’t be, it’s going to be aweome.
Put the chicken skin-down into a hot pan, then into the oven, 375-400F is good. When the chicken is just done, remove the pan and inspect the skin by lifting up the breast. If the skin needs to be more golden brown (read as rock-hard and golden), put the pan back on the burner for a minute or two over medium heat to get a perfect golden brown.
Rest That Meat!
You need to to take the bird out of the pan to rest it SKIN SIDE UP before slicing, this could happen in an oven thats been turned off, or in even just on a cutting board as pictured here. The great part is that doing this all in one pan means that it kind of forces you to rest the bird, since you want to deglaze and harvest all the delicious chickenly bits in the pan.
Chicken Breast with Crispy Skin and Mushroom Duxelle Pan Sauce
- Heavy pan, like cast iron
- 2 bone in chicken breasts with wing bone attached
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Cooking oil like lard or high heat oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock preferably made from a carcass to include the feet
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- The day beforehand, season the chicken with salt and allow to sit out overnight. When it's time to cook, heat a pan with a little oil, add a chicken skin side down for a minute on high, then put in the oven. Put the pan in the oven until the chicken is just done, about 155F. Take the chicken breasts out of the pan, and let rest in a warm place.
- There should be a bunch of nice drippings crusted in the pan. Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine, scrape up the bits, then add a good spoon of duxelles and a good 1/2 cup of nice chicken stock. Simmer the mixture until all the bits have been incorporated into the sauce, then whisk in a tablespoon or so of butter and stir until it melts. Taste the sauce for salt, adjust as needed (it may not need anything, and keep in mind it still needs to reduce.)
- When the butter has thickened the sauce and it tastes really good, you could finish the sauce with a little parsley or chives. To finish, slice the chicken, then put skin-side up on a plate.
- Spoon the sauce cascading off the bird, or on the side (to make sure the skin doesn’t become soft) and serve immediately, with a vegetable side, cooked wild greens would be great.