Chicken with Pesto Mushroom Cream Sauce


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-2 large portobello mushroom heads, sliced in bite sized pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto (homemade or store bought)
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Cooking chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.

Add remaining oil to skillet and cook mushrooms until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add cream, broth and chicken to skillet, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Transfer chicken to serving platter and tent with foil. Return skillet to high heat and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes, Off heat, stir in pesto and lemon juice and season with salt & pepper. Serve sauce on the side or over chicken.

From What’s Cookin, Chicago?

Mushroom Rice Pilaf

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups long grain rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Melt the butter and olive oil in a hot skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with the salt and pepper; cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until caramelized.

Add the rice and stir until coated with the butter and olive oil. Increase the heat to medium-high. Let the rice cook until toasted, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the broth, bay leaf, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender, Stir in the parsley and fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

From What’s Cooking, Chicago?

Steak and Ale Pie


3 tbsp. plain flour
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper, freshly ground
675 g braising steak, lean, cut into pieces
3 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 medium carrots
115 g button mushrooms, halved
3/4 cup beef stock
3/4 cup brown ale
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. tomato purée
350 g puff pastry, ready-made
1 egg, beaten


Season the flour to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the beef in the flour, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the steak in batches over a high heat until browned on all sides. Transfer the steak to a large saucepan. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently.

Transfer the onion and mushrooms to the saucepan along with the stock, ale, bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to the pie dish. Reserve 150 ml of the gravy and pour the rest over the meat mixture. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8″ and 2″ larger all round than the dish. Cut a 3/4″ strip from around the pastry, brush the rim of the dish with water, and place the strip on the rim. Brush with water. Place the pastry over the dish and press the pastry edges together to seal; trim off the excess with a knife. Crimp the pastry edge. Use the pastry trimmings to decorate, if liked. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and make a hole in the middle for steam to escape. Place on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and dark golden. Serve immediately, with the reserved gravy served separately.

From Ocado Recipes