Remember a few weeks back when I got cold feet about making a recipe that I'd seen Gordon Ramsay do on The F Word? Well, I decided that as the days of asparagus and morels are quick and fleeting, I would need to overcome my phobia of two-page, small-type sets of instructions with multiple groups of components to prepare. I'm not sure how you are, but there are times when I look at a recipe and my eyes start to roll in the back of my head by about the 13th ingredient I see listed. At that point, I just give up and find something else to do, like going across the street and grabbing a slice of pizza.
I was encouraged to push ahead and make the Roast Chicken in Morel Sauce by my youngest sister, who reminded me that she had made it several months back for a dinner for my father and some of our family friends. When she was up here visiting earlier this year, she'd picked up a package of dried morels that we had found in our jaunt around the city. I hadn't realized that she had used them to make this. She assured me that the dish was doable, despite the lengthy set of instructions.
The other important part to know in fixing this dish is that it took me an hour to cook everything, and I ended up using multiple pans to put together the separate components. How do I know exactly how long it took? Well, I had an episode of "Behind the Music" to keep me company while I worked on dinner. I'm not opposed to recipes that eat up an entire hour to prepare or that involve multiple steps, but, as I said to my sister, I really felt like I needed my own sous-chef and team to assist with making everything, much like on the show.
Despite that, in the end it looked and tasted very good. I would save this dish for a dinner party or one of those days when you have the time, nothing else is pressing, and you would like to make something very special for your evening meal. The creamy, earthy mushrooms and grilled asparagus play off of the hearty roasted chicken. The potatoes help soak up some of the sauce while the crisp, salty bacon adds some more dynamism to the dish. Unlike the instructions in the video, I kept the dried mushrooms and sauteed shallots in the sauce. I did not make the fresh morel part, as they are prohibitively expensive, even when in season.
The finished sauce - creamy and not too rich, because of the stock
The vegetables plated up
The finished dish - a feast for the eyes and the stomach!