Sunday, December 26, 2010

What To Do With Leftover Champagne...Chicken And Chanterelles in Champagne Sauce

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There's nothing worse than spending money on a good bottle of champagne and not being able to finish it.  .  Last week I was given a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, my favorite champagne.  The unfortunate thing was that although I opened the bottle with every intention of drinking it all by myself,  I just couldn't do it.  My daughter is not like her mother in that respect.  She will have a glass or two but after that she looses interest. Well, I wasn't about to throw out a quarter of a bottle of good and expensive champagne!

I learned a long time ago, that the best way to keep champagne is to stick it back in the refrigerator, uncovered, and it will keep until the next day.  Well, as luck would have it, I wasn't able to finish it the next day either so by the second day I still had a about a cup's worth,  but not bubbly enough to drink straight or mix  with orange juice for mimosas. It was good enough, though, for cooking,  for champagne doesn't have to be bubbly to add to a dish.  In that case, the choice was clear,  risotto OR chicken in a champagne sauce.  This time, the latter won hands down.

Whether you use breasts or thighs in this recipe, please buy them with the bone and skin.  This helps keep the chicken tender and moist.  You can remove the skin when you are served.  You can also substitute the chanterelles for shitaakes or a mushroom of your choice.

Keep this recipe handy for the chances are good that with New Year's coming up you will have some leftover Champagne.  If you still have guests around for New Year's Day lunch, there's nothing like a risotto with champagne substituted for the white wine. For dinner, though, I prefer to have this chicken.

This recipe is for two but you can adjust if you have guests.

I wasn't planning to share this recipe so I never thought of taking a picture.  The photo below is from Hungry Cravings and is as close as I could find to the way mine came out .  It is for a similar recipe but without the champagne.

Chicken And Chanterelles In Champagne Sauce

Serves 2


4 chicken thighs or 2- 3 chicken breasts, with bone and skin

3 garlic cloves mashed

3 tb olive oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 cup dried chanterelles

3/4 to 1 cup of Champagne

1 tsp tarragon dried or 1 TB fresh

1 tsp. tomato paste

1/4 Cup heavy cream (optional)

Parsley for garnish


Put the chanterelles in a cup and add water to cover.  Let seep about 10-15 minutes. Drain in a colander but save the water.  Dry the chanterelles well and set aside.

Saute the mashed garlic in the olive oil until golden.  Take out and discard.

Sautee the reconsituted chanterelles about 3 minutes to brown and get rid of the excess water. Add more olive oil if needed. When done,  take them out and and save them on a clean plate next to the stove.

Sautee the chicken until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side.  Remove to the plate.  Sautee the chopped shallots for 2-3 minutes, add the dried or fresh tarragon and sautee another minute.  Return the chicken and shallots to the pan.  Season well with salt and pepper. Add the champagne and boil down to half the original quantity. 

Add the water from the mushrooms and the tomato paste.  Stir to mix well.  Bring to a boil and immediately lower the ttemperature on the stove to medium low.  Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes*. When the chicken is done, add the chanterelles back and if you want, about 1/4 cup of the heavy cream.  Sprinkle parley on top and serve with yellow rice.

*depending on your stove and the size of the chicken parts, they may be done in as little as 20 minutes so check!

Top photo: Google Images


  1. Leftover champagne is a rarity in our household, but when it does happen I have a champagne cork, which keeps it fresh and bubbling for several days.

  2. I was snowed in today and had all the ingredients - wonderful dish. I will definitely make it again.

  3. Perfect timing! I just noticed some leftover champagne in the fridge.Dinner is served!

  4. I agree with you very warmly that a sparkling white, champagne or other, is a superlative cooking wine for fish or chicken. Although the bubbles are absent, their yeasty framework and any residual sugars are retrieved virtues in eliciting the flavours of the ingredients. (Consider why we like vermouth as well).

    I do feel that you are risking an overcooking of chicken at this aggregate time, however. I do think you are either remembering the browning process as slower than it is, or that you can cut back the covered interval to closer to 20 minutes. But smell and sight are safety valves of this classic, fine preparation.

  5. I did, in fact, cut back the covered cooking time to 20 minutes. The chicken was perfectly cooked at 20 minutes.

  6. DocP & Laurent

    Okay, I did say ABOUT 30 minutes but I will adjust. It all depends on temp and size of chicken. Thanks for the suggestion. They are always encouraged!


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