Sometimes I have no idea what I am doing while I am cooking.
I knew we needed to use up the last few King Trumpet mushrooms in the fridge. Other than that, I had no idea what to do. I slowly started piecing together ingredients: Mushrooms…..pasta……chicken….broccoli?
This seemed to be a fairly common combination, but I still had no idea what flavour to add to it, or what sauce. So, I started looking up recipes. Sadly, most recipes used a can of cream of mushroom soup. That was their idea of “mushrooms”. I don’t like cream of mushroom soup; I don’t think you can trust a food that is grey, and comes out of a can but stays the shape of the can, and just….jiggles. I had my own mushrooms to use, anyway!
I knew the mushrooms would provide a nice buttery flavour, so I started hunting in the fridge for inspiration. I found this:
It was a Christmas gift that I had given to my dad, but so far he hadn’t gotten around to using it. Although I thought pear would be a very odd flavour for what I was making, I liked the idea of balsamic vinegar. Unfortunately, we did not have any regular balsamic vinegar. Dubiously, I opened the bottle and smelled it. It was not as overwhelming as I thought it would be. It seemed to have the desirable tang of balsamic vinegar, with just a bit of sweetness. A sweetness that could go well with soft, buttery mushrooms.
To stick with this flavour palette, I used tarragon and a little thyme. Altogether we had a light, but buttery dish that would be perfect for springtime. Unusual? Yes. Delicious? Yes.
4 oz linguini pasta
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
12 oz broccoli, frozen
4 large King Trumpet mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp pear-infused balsamic vinegar*
2 tsp tarragon
1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp 1% milk
1/4 c water
parmesan cheese, as desired
Place the frozen broccoli in a skillet over medium heat, and cover with a lid. Prepare linguini according to package directions. Leave for approximately 5 minutes, or until the broccoli has thoroughly thawed. Remove the lid and mist with olive oil. Add the sliced mushroom, and sautee until the mushrooms and broccoli begin to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Place the chicken in the same skillet and cook for about 7 minutes on both sides, until cooked through and browned. Set the chicken aside, and slice into bite-sized pieces after it has cooled slightly. Lower the heat to medium-low, and add the water, milk, and balsamic vinegar. When it begins to simmer, add the broccoli-mushroom mix back to the skillet, and add the tarragon, thyme, and salt. Add the chicken. When the sauce reaches the desired consistency, serve over the pasta, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
*Regular balsamic vinegar should work just fine too.