Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Porcini and Onion Gravy, for Roast Chicken
It's that time of year again. The time when I start to dream of fall... Fall weather. Fall fashion (layers! boots! oh my!) And most importantly, fall food. I wish I could say that's the reason I made roast chicken with mushroom gravy while it was 105 degrees outside but there's actually a deeper, darker explanation.
After shooting a commercial last week in Prague, I was sent to the ER. I was having a bad stomach ache which led to chest pain which led me to not be able to breathe. In hindsight I feel like a total jack ass. They couldn't find a thing wrong with me and eventually chalked it up to exhaustion and stress (we had just completed two night shoots in a row, wrapping at 6:30 am.) All I can say is, never get sick in Prague. We had been joking the whole trip that we were going to end up in a scene from the movie Hostel and the irony is that's pretty much what happened.
Everyone in the hospital smoked (doctor, nurses, interns), the ceiling was leaking, and I counted 3 spiders on the wall of the dimly lit, sallow hallway they stuck me in for an hour before finally giving me an IV. Oh and the paramedics were laughing as they loaded me up into the ambulance. Good times.
Anyway - I'm fine thanks to the best husband in the world and the best producer in the world (thank you Josh Morse!) But as soon as I got home, I just wanted to be in my kitchen cooking homey, comforting things to make me feel rooted to the ground again. This gravy was one of them - home on a plate with roasted chicken, roasted beet salad with goat cheese, and sweet potato fries. Hurray home!
Porcini and Onion Gravy
* Makes enough for 3-4 servings of roast chicken. Easily doubled.
* This gravy isn't very liquidy - it's more like an onion and mushroom confit. If you like a runnier gravy, don't let the porcini liquid evaporate as much before adding the cornstarch mixture to thicken.
* You can make this up to two days ahead and keep in the fridge. Just reheat in the microwave and stir before serving.
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed
pinch dried sage
pinch kosher salt and pepper
dried bay leaf
large handful of dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce until dissolved
1 tablespoon butter
additional salt and pepper, if necessary for seasoning
Add the butter and oil to a medium dutch oven and put over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the chopped onion and garlic cloves. Add in a pinch of kosher salt, pepper, bay leaf and dried sage. Saute, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat a little if the bottom begins to scorch, for 20-22 minutes or until the onions are nice and soft and JUST beginning to caramelize,
Meanwhile, place a handful of dried porcini mushrooms in a cup of boiling water (I just bring the water to a boil in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave.) Use a spoon to press the mushrooms down into the water, then set them aside and let them soak for 20 minutes while the onions cook.
Once the onions are softened and have begun to brown a little, pour in the white wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Let bubble away, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated. Pour in the mushrooms and water they soaked in and boil away until most of the liquid has evaporated (leave more liquid if you prefer a more liquidy gravy.) Stir in the cornstarch/Worcestershire mixture and kill the heat. Once thickened, stir in the butter and transfer to a cool burner. Taste for salt and pepper and make any adjustments if necessary. Remove bay leaf and garlic cloves (if desired) before serving.
Serve with roast chicken or pork or beef.