Staying home for Valentines day, avoiding the crowds, and cooking together can really be one of the most romantic and relaxing ways to spend the evening. This meal is fun because you can toast AND cook with a nice bottle of champagne to make a most memorable romantic meal. Speaking of romance, this recipe has the wonderful flavors of France– tarragon and champagne–ooo la la, and it’s really a cinch to make.
Instead of a traditional potato side dish, I’ve kicked this up with an easy make-ahead savory bread pudding. It may have been equally as good as the chicken. You can pop these both in the oven, light a candle, and enjoy!
Our Valentines playlist:
- Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran
- Crazy Lucky Better Than Ezra
- Try A Little Tenderness The Commitments
- Sugar Maroon 5 V
- Wait For Me Kings Of Leon
- Run Matt Nathanson
- Scenes from an Italian Restaurant Billy Joel
- You’re All I Need to Get By Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
- God Only Knows The Beach Boys
- I’ll Be Waiting Michael Franti & Spearhead
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry
- 6 eggs
- 2¼ cups half and half
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesean cheese
- 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
- ¼ cup minced fresh chives
- ¼ cup minced fresh thyme
- 1 lb. day old sourdough baguette, cut into ½ inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saute pan melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the shallots until they are soft and translucent. Add the wine and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes until wine is reduced to approximately 2 Tbsp. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, salt and pepper together. Add the herbs and the shallot/wine mixture. Stir to combine. Stir in the cheese. Fold in the bread cubes. Let sit for an hour (or refrigerate overnight in the refrigerator).
- Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and pour bread mixture in. Bake bread pudding for 35 – 40 minutes until it is puffed and golden. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve
- 1 Tbls. olive oil
- 3 Tbls. butter
- 4 chicken breasts (skin on, bone in)
- salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 large shallot (minced)
- 1 cup champagne
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 Tbls. chopped, fresh tarragon
- fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 Tbls. each butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken skin side down and sear for 5-7 minutes until skin is crisp. Flip over chicken and sear for an additional 3 minutes.
- Remove chicken and set aside.
- Turn heat down to medium and add shallots to the pan. Heat and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the champagne, cream and chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove all the the cooked bits. Simmer for 5 minutes and season again to taste.
- Place chicken back in the pan, baste with the champagne sauce and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
- In the meantime, Heat additional 2 Tbls. of butter in another large skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes until all the water is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown. Turn off heat and add peas.
- Remove chicken from the oven. Add the sauted mushrooms and peas. Stir in the tarragon and drizzle with lemon juice.
- Place chicken on a platter and pour sauce over the top.
- Serve with french green beans and a savory bread pudding.