Champagne Chicken

champagne chicken


This recipe has been a staple for me for decades.  I found the original version in, of all places, a Reader’s Digest cook book.  I was house-sitting for a friend and looking for just the right recipe.  I gave this one a try and it has reappeared regularly in my kitchen ever since.  Over the years I have tweaked it here and there.  Here is how it looks now.  You will need:


  • Chicken (boneless, skinless and use any cut you prefer – this time I have used one HUGE split breast and four thighs – probably enough for four)
  • 6 eggs, separated – you only need the yolks, slightly beaten –  you can save the whites for an omelet or something
  • 16 oz mushrooms, sliced – this time, I used Cremini
  • 3 or 4 tbsp shallots or scallions (this time I used shallots)
  • 4 C champagne (it doesn’t matter at what temperature you use it but be sure to open it cold – otherwise, it might explode unexpectedly)
  • 2 C cream
  • Butter or olive oil to saute chicken and shallots
  • Lemon juice (approximately ½ C)
  • White pepper
  • Salt

sauteed shrooms



Lightly saute the sliced mushrooms and set aside.




lemon breasts



Flatten the breasts slightly.  A uniform thickness allows even cooking.  Rub the chicken with lemon juice, then with white pepper and salt.





Saute the chicken in a pre-heated, oiled (or buttered) pan on medium to medium-high heat.  Saute approximately 3 to 4 minutes on each side.  Do not crowd the pan.  Saute it in batches removing finished pieces to a platter tented with foil and keep warm in a 200º oven.  If your guests aren’t due for awhile, you can stop here for now.  Just keep the chicken warm but don’t let it dry out.  You can even refrigerate it overnight.





Saute the shallots or scallions (in the same pan) until slightly soft.  Remove the shallots or scallions from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the flavor bits in the bottom of the pan.




champagne to skillet

Add the champagne to the pan and reduce by about half over medium-high to high heat, stirring often.  Then, lower the heat slightly and add the cream until the sauce has thickened slightly.  Allow the sauce to cool slightly.  Next, temper the beaten yolks by slowly adding a few tablespoons of the sauce at a time and stirring well.  If you add the yolks to the hot sauce, they will scramble.  Not what you’re looking for in a Champagne sauce.  Return the chicken (along with any liquid), shallots (or scallions) and mushrooms to the sauce and heat through.  If the sauce tastes a little bland, add a few drops of lemon juice.  Serve over rice.  This particular day, I used a short-grain basmati.  Enjoy.

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