If you like mushrooms, there is nothing quite like eating fresh morels. They grow in the forest among damp woody places and are best found in the springtime after the snow has melted until early June. Know your mushrooms well. There are many mushrooms that are edible, but just as many, if not more, that are poisonous! Morels have a very distinct look to them. They generally grow one to three inches in height,  and look a bit like a brain. My sister lives 20 minutes from the mountains, so we grabbed a few bags and went in search of the illusive morel. Be sure to bring along a knife or scissors to cut the morels. You do not want to pull them up from their roots. It is also best to place the morels in a mesh bag so the spores release back to the forest floor. I was not happy when I realized I left my camera at her house, but my sis got a great shot of baby morels in their natural habitat. If you can’t find morels, any type of edible mushrooms can be substituted for this recipe.

Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms blend so well with the colors of the forest floor. You have to look carefully to spot them!

If you have picked your morels fresh from the forest, you will want to soak them overnight in salt water to make

sure any little critters hiding inside make their way out! If you pick early in the season, you will encounter

fewer the bugs.  The darker morels are older, the light-colored are the newest growth.

Mushrooms
These are my morel treasures I came home with! Fresh morels can be purchased in stores this time of year,
just expect to pay a hefty price.

 

Olive oil and butter for sauteing.
On its own, butter will burn; adding it to olive oil increases the flavor, but the oil will not burn.
Fried chicken breasts
Sauté the breasts on both sides until a rich golden brown appears, approximately 20 minutes.

 

Cooked onions
Chop shallots and add them to the pan drippings from the chicken. Cook until translucent.

 

 

Mushrooms and Onions
Add chopped morel mushrooms and chicken stock to the shallots.

 

Mushroom & Marsala Cream Sauce
Add Marsala wine and half & half to the stock, and simmer. Do not allow it to come to a full boil.

 

Mushroom & Cream Sauce
Arrange the chicken breasts on a platter and pour the morel marsala cream sauce over the top.

 

Baked asparagus sprigs
Lay asparagus on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with olive oil, sea slat and cracked black pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes

 

Mushroom Cream Sauce over Chicken
Pretty on a dish for company! Tender morel mushrooms in a marsala cream sauce tastes delicious.

 

Sautéed Chicken Breasts & Morels in a Marsala Wine Sauce

 

4 chicken breasts

2 shallots, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup marsala wine

1/2 cup half & half

2  Tbsp cornstarch

Sea slat & cracked pepper to taste

 

Place olive oil and butter in a saute pan and melt over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and cook thoroughly until both sides are brown, approximately 8-10 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan, place on a dish and cover with foil to trap the heat and keep the chicken moist. Return the saute pan to the burner with all the “drippings” from cooking the chicken still in the pan. Add the chopped shallots to the pan and cook until shallots are translucent. Add the chopped morels and cook for one minute before adding the chicken stock. Cook for one more minute, then add the marsala wine and 1/4 cup of the half & half. Place the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup of half & half and mix until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add to the pan and stir until sauce is slightly thickened. Place chicken breasts onto a platter or separate plates, and pour the cream sauce over the chicken.

I like to serve this dish with asparagus. Place your asparagus sprigs onto a foiled cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the sprigs and sprinkle sea salt and cracked black pepper on each one. Place in a 400 degree preheated oven and cook for approximately 15-18 minutes or until asparagus tips turn slightly brown.

This recipe was also shared on the following blogs: GlutenfreeHomemaker, DeliciousObsessions, WellFedHomestead, KellytheKitchenKop, RealFoodForager, SimplySugarandGlutenfree, VegetarianMamma, ThisGalCooks

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