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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Julia Child's Recipe for Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms & Cream

One of my favorite chicken dishes in the whole entire world is Chicken Marsala. There is truly nothing more tasty than the combination of mushrooms, wine and cream sauce over chicken in my opinion.  To be honest almost every new Italian restaurant we try I always first order the chicken Marsala to decide whether it's a restaurant that I want to revisit a second time or not.

I also learned to make chicken Marsala pretty well at home. But when I saw this recipe pinned on Pinterest made by Sugar & Spice by Celeste from Julia Child for Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce I decided I needed to give it a try because it had all of the things I love in a chicken recipe.

I finally got around to making it on a Tuesday after a horrifically awful day as a principal responsible for adults who make horrific choices with children but are legally protected by a very strong contract. Comfort, distraction from reality and a reason to open a good bottle of white wine were the perfect remedy for a bad day and need to make this recipe.

This may be the most simple, perfect recipe I've made yet from Julia Child. It really was straight forward and came all together quickly.

Although made with cream and dry vermouth this version of chicken with a mushroom cream sauce was so bright and tasted so much lighter than my favorite chicken Marsala recipes. We both think the addition of lemon juice made a huge difference in the lighter feel of this recipe. We served it with steamed asparagus and plain version of Risotto. 

We both loved this recipe and it easily will be added to one of our favorite recipes collection.

We enjoyed the dish paired with a wonderful Oregon made Chardonnay, Nuthouse made by Argyle Winery that we enjoyed visiting. 


Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons 
(Chicken Breasts with Mushroom and Cream)
Source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Knopf, 1961) From Sugar & Spice by Celeste

4 supremes (boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Big pinch white pepper
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot 
1/4 pound diced or sliced fresh mushrooms
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
1/4 cup white or brown stock or canned beef bouillon
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons freshly minced green onion

Directions:Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub the chicken breasts with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a heavy, oven-proof casserole, about 10 inches in diameter until it is foaming. Stir in the minced shallots or green onion and saute a moment without browning. Then stir in the mushrooms and saute lightly for a minute or two without browning. Sprinkle with salt.

Quickly roll the chicken in the butter mixture and lay a piece of buttered wax paper over them, cover casserole and place in hot oven. After 6 minutes, press top of chicken with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for a moment or two. When the meat is springy to the touch it is done. (Please Note: Although Julia suggests to check the chicken after only 6 minutes, I cooked it for closer to 30-40 minutes. Please use a meat thermometer to ensure the correct temperature, 165 degrees, before serving!)

Remove the chicken to a warm platter (leave mushrooms in the pot) and cover while making the sauce (2 to 3 minutes).

To make sauce, pour the stock and vermouth in the casserole with the cooking butter and mushrooms. Boil down quickly over high heat until liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly. Off heat, taste for seasoning, and add drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with green onion nd serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Source: “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I” by Julia Child (Knopf, 1961)


  1. I have been really impressed by going through this awesome blog.
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  2. Just made this for dinner!! Very good!! Took a little longer than I expected, but it was delicious! Thank you for putting this on your website!!

  3. I think the size of chicken breasts has changed dramatically since Julia Child's day, which could account for some of her shorter cook time.

  4. Here's an idea: keep your political comments about teachers out of your recipes.

    1. Or you could choose to not read the blog. This is our space (from the prospective of an active teacher and current principal who live and cook together) to share our life through food. Folks have the option to follow or not.

    2. A "teacher" who can't spell (or maybe doesn't know the difference?) Perspective!!!
      OMG we (and our children) are in trouble!!!!

  5. Thanks for sharing! I looked through all my cookbooks including a Julia Child cookbook for chicken with mushroom sauce but could not find even one. So we will be trying this out tomorrow. Thanks again and happy blogging:-)

  6. This is one of my favorite chicken recipes. There are two things that I do differently. I boil down the beef stock and Martini dry vermouth in a cast iron fry pan while the chicken is cooking. This saves several minutes and I cannot detect any changes in the flavor by doing this. I remove the chicken from the oven dish they were cooked in and pour the mushroom gravy into the fry pan with the reduced vermouth and beef stock, add the cream, and continue reducing the liquid. I put the chicken back into the hot dish that the chicken cooked in and cover with foil. This uses an extra dish or pan but it cuts the overall cooking time down. I also add a half dozen or so drops of mushroom ketchup to the cream sauce while it's reducing. Just prior to this recipe in Julia Child's book, she recommends a 2 1/2 to 3 pound fryer. Two of the chicken breasts that I used in making this recipe last night weighed 1 1/2 pounds! That means the chicken breasts she was using was far smaller that what I had bought, and took a lot longer than 6 to 8 minutes to cook. Also most meats and poultry purchased in the US have water added, so the cooking time is not as critical to get moistly cooked meats as it once was. Julia said that even one extra minute of cooking can overcook the chicken and make it dry and tough. That's not been my experience. Also, a trained chef may be able to push on a cooking chicken breast and determine whether it is done or not, but, for me, a thermometer is the only way to get it right every time. I use a remote digital thermometer which only costs $10 to $15 and I never ruin a meal. I do 160 degrees with chicken. That leaves a little pink blush in the center which Julia recommends.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing! I truly look forward to sharing your recipes and blog. As a curious cook always looking for something new to add into our repertoire, I found your blog to be refreshing. Adding in the reflections from a bad day warmed by a delicious dish and glass of local wine offers a personalized emphasis that encourages me to follow your blog in silent support. Best wishes for an optimistic 2014.

  8. This was totally delicious; nice recipe I think art of cooking is not something everyone has the equal grip over. Read more about for cooking visit now

  9. You cannot put wax paper in the oven.

  10. Oh mmmyyyy, i love that recipe! Perhaps one of the best chicken breast recipes I came across to. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I'd love to try that this coming weekend.


  11. Is it original recipe from her book ?
    Thank you

  12. just finished cooking this dish. yum yum!! dish was yummy even though i had to improvise and substitute some ingredients because i found the recipe while surfing the net looking for something different to do with my chicken breasts. had to start cooking right away because husband was ravenous. no lemon, so fresh lime juice instead. no whipping cream, so evaporated milk instead. no vermouth, so moscato instead. also, i cut my breasts in smaller pieces to speed cooking time. my husband said he "loves" it.

  13. Hmm... I love both, mushrooms and chicken but honestly I dont' see how these two can add up :D

  14. though I'm willing to try the recipe :) and I'll definitely return here to let u know the results haha. Ive been cooking for several months now, and all because those cooking and restaurant management Papas Games hooked me up :) now i'm experimenting with nearly all the recipes I can find.. Thanks

  15. I'll try it, sounds yummy.... but I'll use parchment paper to cover the chicken. Wax paper is fine to line a bottom of a cake pan if its entirely covered by batter... but no bueno if its exposed. The wax melts onto the food and it stinks!! Ha ha ha. Other than that... this looks fabulous! Going to cook Ms. Childs Cassoulet recipe this month too! :) Thanks for this recipe.

  16. Good recipe with nice presentation.Delicious and wonderful looking very nice and yummy..
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  17. I don't understand the instructions. You're saying we need to put the wax paper over the chicken, cover it and put it in the oven? Wouldn't the wax paper melt?

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  20. I really wanna make this but we don't have vermouth where I live, what can I substitute for this?

  21. looks yummy!! can I use low-fat cream cheese instead
    my old man is on diet :)


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  23. Wow! Great recipe for grilled chicken. It was juicy and tender. I used the chicken this time to make chicken pesto sandwiches and will used the leftovers on my salad for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe!UpdateLand Deepwebsiteslinks.com

  24. yes really delicious look and i m sure tasty

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  26. The following is a french cooking techique: Parchment paper is buttered on one side. The (buttered side)of the Parchment paper is pushed down on top of the chicken and mushrooms before finishing it off in the oven. Also, baking time depend on the size of the chicken breast.

  27. Oh,wax paper is fine to use , but I prefer using Parchment paper.
    I'm ❤ loving this blog!Yum!!

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. Why doesn’t this recipe include nutritional info, such as calories etc? I’ve noticed the same for other recipes…unless I am blind.
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