Penne pasta with chicken, button and cremini mushrooms, in a rich, creamy, Madeira wine sauce. This dish is my re-creation of my dad's favorite dish at The Cheesecake Factory, Pasta Da Vinci, around our house we call it Pasta Da Stephie (my name). Elegant enough for special occassions, like Father's Day, but simple to make for a weeknight meal when paired with a salad and some garlic bread. Enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Ingredients; Prepare Chicken
1-1.5 lbs. chicken breasts, or tenders, trimmed, pounded to an even thickness, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 2: Prepare Vegetables
I prefer to use a mix of cremini and buttom mushrooms, cut into different sizes, for different texture and flavors.
8 oz. whole cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems discarded, quartered if larger, halved if smaller
8 oz. sliced (pre-washed) white button mushrooms, cut into even sized pieces
2-3 shallots, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2-4 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)
Step 3: Start Cooking
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
prepped mushrooms, shallots, and garlic
2-4 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups Madeira wine
2 cups veal stock (if unavailable use 1 cup each chicken and beef stock)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken until well browned and cooked through, about 2-4 minutes per side depending on size of chicken. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.
Add 2 Tbsp. butter to now-empty skillet, turn heat down to medium. Add mushrooms in an even layer and don't touch for a minute or two until juices start releasing. Add shallots, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper to pan, mix well. Sauté until most of the liquid evaporates and mushrooms and shallots are well browned 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, cook about 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
Add flour to pan, starting with 2 Tbsp. mix well, if there is still liquid in pan, add up to 2 Tbsp. more flour until vegetables are well coated, cook about 1 minute.
Add Madeira wine, bring to simmer and scrape off all browned bits from bottom of pan. Add stock, continue to simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occassionally, until liquid is reduced by about 1/2, 10-15 minutes.
When sauce is reduced, add in heavy cream, stir to combine.
Step 4: Cook Pasta, Finish Sauce
While sauce is reducing cook 1 pound penne pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling salted water.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add, along with any juices, to sauce.
Step 5: Combine and Mangia!
When pasta is slightly underdone, reserve about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, drain pasta, and add to sauce.
Stir well and cook a few minutes until pasta is well coated, if sauce seems too thick, add some pasta cooking water to thin it out.
Serve, topping with Parmesan cheese, if desired.