Chicken Porto

This is a delicious and incredibly easy dish to impress your friends with. I love preparing this dish when I have guests over because the preparation can be done in advance to allow you to mingle and have a few drinks with the guests, and then you just have to nip into the kitchen 10 mins before serving. When you plate and serve this dish, I guarantee excitement around the table as guests take in the rich creamy sauce and golden brown chicken on their plate. During a recent dinner when I served this dish, I had one guest proclaim she could sense aromas of chocolate, while another detected hints of coffee ...

To make this dish for five servings, you will need:
  • One chicken breast fillet per person
  • Roughly 1-2 brown mushrooms per person (one large or two medium)
  • 75 milliliters of Port per person
  • A small fistful of chopped shallots, half a shallot for five servings.
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • 20 grams of butter
  • One tablespoon of crème fraîche
  • Some flour
  • Salt and pepper
Yes, that is really all you need ... see, told you it is simple. 

Start by slicing your mushrooms.

And chopping up the shallots. Go easy on the shallots; they add a nice kick to the dish, but can be overpowering if overused. I used the amount here for five servings.

Next, we will prepare the chicken. You can cook the chicken in advance, and then warm it up in the sauce before serving. This saves the hassle of cooking chicken while your guests are sitting around sipping their drinks.

In a shallow plate, mix up your flour with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Before you dredge your chicken in the flour, dredge about 5g of butter in the flour and set aside. We will use it later, but you want to do this step before contaminating the flour with the uncooked chicken.

Now you can dredge each piece of your chicken in the flour, on both sides.

In a pan, with a bit of oil, cook the chicken for approximately three minutes on each side. Set the chicken aside for now, preferably in some tin foil, but don't clean out the pan you used for the chicken.

Now we can start the sauce in the same pan. Add about 20g of butter and the shallots to the pan. Once the butter has begun melting, swish it around the pan to degrease it.

This will help to pick up all those chicken flavours.

Now add your sliced mushrooms. Normally, they say you shouldn't crowd your mushrooms or they won't brown. This is absolutely true, and you can cook your mushrooms in two batches or in a larger pan. I however, cooked them all together because I neither had time for two batches, nor a large enough pan. Besides, I don't think it had a negative effect on the sauce. Make sure you toss your mushrooms around to get them evenly covered in the butter and shallots.

Add a pinch of salt, cover the pan, and cook the mushrooms for about seven minutes.

Now add your port, about 75 milliters per guest.

Your kitchen is going to be quickly smothered by a strong smell of the port, but don't worry about the sauce being too strong. That intense port aroma will dissipate as the sauce cooks down. Turn the heat on high to get the port bubbling, and then reduce to a simmer.

In 15-20 minutes, your sauce will reduce by about half. This is a good time for a taste test, and then to add some salt as needed. Now you can turn off the heat, and leave it aside until serving time. I try to time my preparation such that when the sauce gets to this stage, I have just enough time to freshen up as guests arrive. Essentially, try to make this the very last part of the preparation.

About 10 mins before serving, pop back into the kitchen and turn the stove on to a low heat. Add that piece of butter you dredged in flour, a bit of Crème Fraîche, and mix the sauce well. It should start to thicken up. Once the flour has all mixed in, slide your chicken pieces into the sauce for them to warm up and absorb the flavours. Cover and warm for 3 minutes, then serve.

I chose to serve with my mushrooms below the chicken, small roasted potatoes on the side, and a garnish of fresh parsley. You can see in the picture below how the sauce thickened.

This dish is guaranteed to have your guests ooh-ing and aah-ing, and you really don't have to tell them how easy it was to prepare.

Bon Appetit!

*Tip: Don't throw away your leftover mushrooms, refer to our "Let's not waste anything!" page, and check out few ideas on how to use your mushrooms.

As with all the other recipes we put on this site, this is meant to be easy to follow. We are hobby chefs who love to cook, and we are always up for learning new techniques. If you know of anything in this recipe which can be done a different way, whether for increased ease of preparation or better taste, please add a comment below!

Whipped up by Shyamal Addanki

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