It seems to me that so many people don't cook with champagne enough. Maybe it's the concept that champagne should only be uncorked to celebrate.
IMO, any day is a good day to have champagne. Why wait for New Years Eve or a wedding? Champagne is actually a wonderful wine to cook with and to pair food with. It's excellent with tapas, fried foods (think egg rolls), a variety of seafood and chicken dishes and sushi!
Which is why it really shines in this dish. A light sauce, chicken delicately seasoned and prepared, and mushrooms (mushrooms and champagne are classic pairing). It's based off of a recipe from The Lavender Cookbook, though I didn't quite follow all instructions. I paired it with Mushroom Risotto.
Lavender Chicken Breasts in Champagne Sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried lavender
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tbsp evoo
2 tbsp butter
1 cup thinly sliced button mushrooms
1/4 cup shallot, minced
1/4 cup Champagne
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 tbsp chicken stock (not broth!)
Combine the herbs in a pestle and grind with mortar until aromatic. Combine with lemon juice in a bag, add chicken breasts and marinade for 20 minutes. Discard marinade.
Heat skillet over medium heat. Add in olive oil and butter and heat until butter is melted. Add chicken breasts and brown on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
Add the mushrooms and shallot to skillet. Sautee for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the Champagne, broth and stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is done.
Wine Pairing: Champagne, of course!