What to do with really cheap champagne

March 31, 2012 § 4 Comments

We’ve had a magnum of really cheap champagne hanging around the house for a few months now.  It was given to us by a friend who didn’t know what to do with it herself.  Last week, we used about a cup of it in Mimosas with friends, and then set the rest of it aside to figure out later.  The bottle was so big, it wouldn’t fit into the refrigerator, so there it sat on the kitchen counter for 5 hours, while we tried to decide how not to waste it.  Finally, I decided to incorporate it into a reduction sauce for chicken.

Here’s what we made, and please don’t even think about using expensive champagne in this recipe, because it turns out perfectly fine with the cheapest champagne you can find (we used Cook’s).

Chicken with champagne sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1 bottle cheap champagne (we used almost an entire magnum of Cook’s)

1/2 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

salt and pepper

2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 small zucchini, sliced into 1/3-inch pieces

1 cup heavy cream

16 ounce package of potato gnocci, cooked according to package directions

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Saute the garlic, onion, red pepper, and green pepper in the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven.  Pour in the bottle of champagne.  Add 1/2 teaspoon Herbs de Provence, a pinch of salt, and some freshly grated black pepper.   Cook on medium high for about 20 minutes, until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups of sauce.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, roll the chicken pieces in the flour; then saute in the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a hot cast iron pan.  Cook chicken in batches until it is almost cooked through, and then remove the pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon.  Set aside.

Cook the zucchini slices in the same hot oil from the chicken.  Remove from the pan when they are lightly browned and still crisp-tender; set aside.

On medium heat, stir the cream into the champagne reduction.  Heat, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.  Stir in the chicken pieces.  Adjust seasonings; reduce heat to low.  Cook, stirring constantly for 5-6  minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  Stir in the zucchini pieces and cooked potato gnocci, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until zucchini is hot.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Serves 3-4.

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§ 4 Responses to What to do with really cheap champagne

  • viveka says:

    This is one for me again – have a couple of small champagne I got from flights in my fridge – good vintage by now. So this goes on file – thanks and enjoy your weekend. Please don’t forget Earth Hour. *smile

    • Libby says:

      Those little bottles of champagne might be too good to use in this recipe! You may prefer to drink those, and wait until you get a thriftier bottle.

      • viveka says:

        Just done .. your Frittata! Spot on .. post will come in a second – going dark soon. Your chicken in champagne will be a “very soon project” – never drink alone. Not even a glass wine, So it’s destiny is your chicken dish.

      • Libby says:

        Can’t wait to hear about it!

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