Playing Mushroom, Asparagus, Chicken Saute with Rice Pilaf
For the Rice Pilaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup orzo or broken spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock/poaching liquid
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
For the Sauté
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as hen of the woods or maitake, crimini and shitake (whatever looks great at the market), stemmed and sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
  • 1 bundle asparagus, ends trimmed, thinly sliced on bias
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup Marsala or dry sherry
  • 2 1/2 cups poaching liquid/chicken stock
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked poached, pulled chicken or pulled rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the rice, heat a medium saucepot over medium heat with the butter; melt. Add pasta, toast to deep golden brown, and nutty and fragrant; season with salt and pepper. Add rice and stir 1 minute; add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 18 minutes to tender. Stir in pine nuts and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a turn of the pan. Melt butter into oil and add mushrooms; brown well then add salt, pepper, thyme, asparagus, shallots and garlic, and stir to tender-crisp, 3 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and stir a minute or so more. Add Marsala or sherry and stir; add stock and thicken until it becomes a loose gravy. Add chicken and parsley, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Serve in shallow bowls lined with pilaf and filled with chicken sauté.