From time to time, I would see a particular restaurant advertisement on TV for one of their pasta dishes featuring a champagne sauce and I would think to myself, "I've got to try that some day." That "some day" came the other night when, as luck would have it, I realized I had a bottle of champagne in my refrigerator from New Years Eve that I forgotten about it.
I always think of France whenever champagne is mentioned, so I decided to add a little Dijon mustard and tarragon to the sauce recipe below. The two worked beautifully in the sauce and gave it just the right amount of flair. We enjoyed this sauce with chicken and mushrooms over angel hair pasta. Instead of using chicken with the sauce, you could use a dense fish or seafood. And any pasta will work or you can omit the pasta, altogether. The alcohol from the champagne is cooked out of the sauce, but if you prefer a non-alcoholic sauce, you can also substitute a sparkling white grape juice in place of the champagne.
Chicken & Mushrooms in Champagne Sauce
1 - 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
If necessary, add more butter to the skillet. Saute the onions for about 2 - 3 minutes or until tender in the same skillet used to brown the chicken. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking over medium-high heat until the mushrooms release their liquid - about 5 - 7 minutes. Don't worry about the pan appearing dry. Add the champagne (carefully - watch for the steam!) and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and continue cooking until the mixture (champagne) reduces by half.
In the meantime, in a smaller saute pan or sauce pan, melt 3 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir well to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes or until the roux (flour-butter mixture) turns a light to medium coffee color. Using a whisk, stir in the chicken stock (again, watch out for the steam), Lower the heat to medium-low and continue whisking until smooth. Add the Dijon mustard and tarragon. This mixture will be somewhat thick.
Once the champagne, mushroom, onion mixture has reduce by half, slowly add the chicken stock mixture. I added the roux in fourths - stirring in-between each addition. Stir until smooth. The mixture should thicken. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary.
Spoon sauce over cooked pasta. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if you like.