2-3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts (large)
1-1/2 Pounds of Fresh Morel mushrooms (if in season, if out of season 3-4 dried ounces)
1 Box of Penne Pasta (We prefer Bertolli) or any pasta you prefer
2 Jars of Alfredo Sauce (I use Prego Homestyle Alfredo)
1 Stick of REAL Butter (no margarine)
2 Tablespoons of Roasted Minced Garlic
3-4 Cups Extra Virgin olive oil
1 Gallon water (only for dried Morels)
3-4 Tablespoons of Sea Salt
Large mixing Bowl
3”x12” Sauce Pan (or something close nonstick)
2 1.6-2 Liter Saucepans
Chopping block & Knife
Large straining spoon
Ladle for sauce and pasta
READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE COOKING!
If you have dry Morels, you will follow step one after this. Take your 3-4 ounces of dried Morels and put them in a large mixing bowl, pour enough water on the mushrooms to submerge them plus a little more, since they will be absorbing this water. Add a small amount of Sea Salt and dunk the Morels periodically while they are reconstituting. This takes about 20-30 minutes. Once they have come back to their normal size, they will no longer feel hard at all. Now take your colander and strain them, and start step one.
1: If you have fresh Morels, lucky you! With a large mixing bowl, rinse them in a cold salt water bath several times until they rinse fairly clear water. Drain them carefully with a colander/strainer, they are delicate. Lay out either a clean bath towel or layered paper towels to soak up the remaining water that may be stuck in the gills. LIGHTLY pat them dry.
2: Cutting the Morels! If you have ever eaten Calamari that is the shape I cut them in. I lay the Morel on its side, starting on the top or bottom, and make 1/8”-1/4” cuts until its cut all the way. Then grab another one. Once you have cut them all, start the BBQ! While the BBQ is heating up, you can take your sauce pan out. Pour the Olive oil in and turn the stove top on to Medium low. Take the minced garlic and get that heating up to a nice simmer. Once that is sizzling lightly add the butter.
3: Now that the BBQ is nice and hot, put the 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts on, but DO NOT OVER COOK THEM. You want them as moist as possible but not pink, they will cook more in the Alfredo sauce later. Set a timer for 7-10 minutes to flip them.
4: After all your Morels are cut, and your Olive oil, Garlic and Butter mixture is simmering well (Your house should smell fabulous by now!) turn the burner OFF for safety reasons. Take all the Morels and slowly pour them into the oil. Then turn the burner back on. Turn it up until they lightly simmer. They will simmer for 10-15 minutes. You don’t want them under cooked but you don’t want them rubbery either. Remember to check the chicken on the BBQ. The Morels will shrink in size and darken in color, and that’s usually the perfect time to turn off the heat.
5: While the Morels are cooking grab the 1.6-2 liter Saucepan and pour 4 quarts of water for the Penne pasta and follow the directions on the box.
Strain and put back in pan with a few slices of butter, stir, and cover and set aside.
6: With the same Saucepan pour both Alfredo sauce jars into it. Save one jar to put the used olive oil in to discard. Or if you have a way to discard used oil, do that.
7: Now that the chicken is probably done, cut it into 1⁄2” sized cubes or whatever is easiest for you to cut. Then turn the stove on the side of the Alfredo, and pour the chicken into that pan. Let that simmer for about 5-8 minutes and by then the Morels should be perfect.
8: Turn the burner off on the Morel side if you think they are done. With a large straining spoon, start spooning them into the Alfredo saucepan until every last one is in the pan. Let that mixture simmer for 10 minutes lightly, stirring it so the Alfredo doesn’t scorch.
9: We like to clean up before we eat, because we eat so much of this we almost cannot move after. But it is your choice! So grab a bowl or a plate, get the pasta first then take the large ladle and pour on the Morel Chicken Alfredo Sauce. I like to top it with freshly shaven Parmesan cheese, but my husband likes it just the way I cook it.
10: Bon Appetit!
I really hope you enjoy this recipe. I must give credit to the Johnston’s & Clymer’s for showing us the Morel mushroom to begin with.