Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Coconut Mushroom “Cream” Sauce
A field trip to H-Mart yielded us some fancy mushrooms, and Carl pulled out his fancy-pants paleo/gf sauce making skills to make a delicious chicken based meal. This is a very non-traditional style of reduction-based sauce, and if you are used to the consistency and color of a roux-based cream sauce, this will surprise you with its bright flavors and darker color. The convenient thing about doing a coconut-milk reduction is that you cannot break this sauce, unlike standard cream sauces.
Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Coconut Mushroom “Cream” Sauce Recipe
For the sauce:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 medium white onion
- 8 oz each of baby portabellas and enoki mushrooms. You can substitute any mushrooms you like here.
- 1 1/2 oz vodka (optional)
- 1 can light coconut milk
For the chicken:
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt, pepper, etc
Step 1: Mise en Place all of your mises. Carl is big on all the mises being in their places. Dice celery and onion. Cut mushrooms into manageable pieces.
In a large skillet, sweat the celery and onion in 4 tablespoons of melted butter and a pinch of kosher salt. Yes, this sounds like a lot of butter. No, it won’t be once the mushrooms go in. They are like sponges. Delicious little flavor sponges.
Once the celery and onion are semi-translucent, add mushrooms.
Time to start the chicken. Those who follow the musings of Saint Alton Brown will recognize this chicken flattening procedure. We flatten the chicken because the chicken breasts cook quickly and more evenly when done in this way. It also prevents over-cooking the thin edges of the chicken while waiting for the thickest part to get to temp. If you are interested in the mechanics of this, take a look at Alton explaining it.
Cover your cutting board with a sheet of clear plastic wrap. Make sure you use enough plastic wrap to leave room for the chicken to flatten out, and fold it back over on top. All that height has to go somewhere.
Fold over the plastic wrap to cover the top of the chicken.
Hit the chicken with something wide, flat, and hard. Carl used the cast iron pan. Nicole tried to get a picture, but is still working on perfecting her action shot technique.
Heat up some oil in your cast iron pan. Carl’s oil of choice is always toasted sesame.
Salt and pepper what will be the bottom side of your flattened chicken.
Lay the chicken in the pan, seasoned side down.
Stir the mushrooms.
Season the side of the chicken that is face-up, mocking you with its nakedness.
Carl says that mushrooms contain alcohol soluble flavors. Nicole thinks he just likes to add booze to things. Add just a slug of vodka. (about 1 shot/ 1 1/2 ounces) GIANT COOKING SAFETY NOTE: Turn the flame/burner OFF before you put the vodka in. If you cook with alcohol, you should have a fire extinguisher handy.
Once the alcohol is in and the steaming has stopped, return the pan to the heat. Add 1 can of coconut milk.
Reduce the coconut milk and mushrooms over medium heat.
Bake a spaghetti squash. We’ll do a blog post on how to do this in the very near future.
Scrape out and mash your spaghetti squash.
Plate everything and serve. Carl added carrot greens and raspberries for color.