I recently borrowed “The Kitchn” cookbook from the library. Their website has been a regular source of recipes for me and I was excited to comb through their cookbook. There were a number of recipes that stand out and the Wild Mushroom Ragu was one of them.
I decided to add in some chicken to boost the protein content of the dish. You can however make it without the chicken and it probably will be just as tasty. This dish does take some time on the stove but the results are pretty yummy. Both and hubs and E enjoyed this dish very much. I served it with a side of boiled green beans drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Chicken and Mushroom Ragu
(taken and adapted from “The Kitchn Cookbook” by Gillingham and Durand)
- 1/2 ounce (about 1/2 cup) dried mushrooms (I used a mix of mushrooms)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 pound mushrooms (I use cremini), sliced to about 1/4 inch thick
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme, fresh is preferred
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups vegetable, chicken or beef stock (I used beef)
- 4 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned, cut into 1 inch cubes, seasoned with salt and pepper
- Ground black pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Cooked pasta of choice (e.g., penne, rigatoni, rotini etc.)
- In a bowl, add 1 cup boiling water to the dried mushrooms. Set aside and allow the mushrooms to rehydrate, about 15-20 minutes. Once they have rehydrated, drain them, reserving the mushroom water and roughly chop the mushrooms.
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan on high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Lightly brown the seasoned chicken thighs and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onions and shallots for about 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add in the minced garlic, rehydrated mushrooms and fresh mushrooms. Sprinkle a little salt and add in the thyme. Stir and cook until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- When mushrooms start to brown, move them to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook tomato paste for about 1-2 minutes to caramelize it.
- Combine the tomato paste and mushroom mixture.
- Pour in the red wine and stir. When the wine has evaporated, pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom water and 1/2 cup stock of choice.
- Bring to boil, scraping off any bits at the bottom of the pan. Add in the chicken and juices. Once sauce is boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, shaking the pan gently every few minutes.
- After 15 minutes, pour in the remaining mushroom water and stock. Cook for another 20-30 minutes uncovered, occasionally stirring the ragu.
- The sauce is ready when the mushrooms are tender and the ragu is thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss with pasta of choice and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.