Warming and comforting Chicken Stroganoff is a wonderful dish to curl up with in the cold season of winter time, that amazing season that whispers to the soul and gives us reason to cozy up and look for enlightenment all around us, and also within.
There’s a fresh and uniquely crisp, clean scent to the cold air that blows through in the wintertime.
I love when it rustles my hair, and nips at my nose, causing me to shiver just a little bit, all while helping me realize just how alive I feel as I take in its coolness through my nose and allow it to sink deep, down within me to stir up my soul just a little.
The winter is that amazing season when the sun goes to bed earlier than any other time during the year; it “retires”, so to speak, and leaves us under the watchful care of the moon in all of her glowing, maternal beauty, and basking in the cold clarity that makes the stars seem to shimmer and twinkle more brightly and fully than any other time of year.
Blankets are pulled out onto couches, and the warmest socks, sweaters, robes, and knit caps are brought back out to be placed into areas where they can easily be pulled on; comforting and hearty soups, stews, and one-pot steaming and soothing meals, like a creamy chicken stroganoff with earthy mushrooms spooned generously over top of buttery egg noodles, keep us company and feeling cozy and cared for as we nestle ourselves in for the evening, looking to be pampered and nourished in a warming way.
Oh, the lovely winter!
It briskly sweeps in, and brings along with it an abundance of opportunity to get lost in long evenings of conversation, of sharing, of giving, and of soft glowing lights flickering and enhancing the coziness that is, somehow, already woven into the very fabric of this particular season of potential enlightenment.
It is a companion to a soul that loves the poetry in life, and that longs for permission to curl up and tuck away, for it is under this particular type of still, quiet darkness that one can feel free to ask questions of their Creator and to explore their heart in peace in order to prepare for the next season, the season of spring, of re-birth, to flow in afterwards.
But for now, the cold chill and the clear, dark nights are our friends.
They urge us to light our fireplaces so that we may warm ourselves; urge us to turn on our stoves and our ovens so that we may nourish ourselves with comforting food; and to wrap ourselves in soft blankets, and in loving arms, and in good conversation, so that our spirits may rejoice in the amazing opportunity to connect with one another during this cold, crisp season.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Creamy Chicken Stroganoff with Mushrooms
by Ingrid Beer
• 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into thicker slices, or chunks
• Black pepper
• ½ teaspoon paprika
• ¾ cup flour, divided use
• Canola oil
• 10 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 shallots, minced
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 3 cups chicken stock, warm
• 3 tablespoons sour cream
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
• Egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions and tossed with a little melted butter, to serve with
-Add the chicken slices or chunks into a bowl, and sprinkle with a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper, plus the paprika; add ¼ cup of the flour, and toss everything to coat well.
-Place a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3-4 tablespoons of the canola oil; once the oil is hot, add the coated chicken pieces in, working in batches, and sear to allow them to become golden-brown on all sides; remove from pan with slotted spoon, and repeat until all chicken is golden-brown; set aside for a moment. (It’s alright if the chicken is not completely cooked through—it will finish at the end once added to the sauce.)
-Into the same pan, add in the mushrooms (you can drizzle in a touch more oil, if needed), and saute those for a few minutes until golden-brown; remove with slotted spoon, and set aside for a moment (you can keep the mushrooms with the chicken, if desired).
-Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low, and add the 4 tablespoons of the butter into the pan; once melted, add in the shallots and garlic and saute just until aromatic; sprinkle in the remaining ½ cup of flour, and stir it into the butter, cooking the mixture for a bout 30 seconds or so.
-Next, pour in the chicken stock, whisking all the while to avoid lumps, and allow the sauce to simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened.
-Add the chicken and the mushrooms back into the pan with the sauce, and allow them to gently simmer for 3-4 minutes; then, turn the heat off, and stir in the sour cream and the chopped parsley. (Check salt/pepper if to see if more is needed.)
-Serve over warm, buttered egg noodles, or even mashed potatoes, etc.