In James Baldwin novels, the action often takes place on the rooftops of New York City. In smaller Savannah, we too have a flat rooftop with waist-high sides all around. There are no permanent stairs going up, but pull-down stairs and a hatch leading out onto the roof. We all sit on the roof to watch fireworks displays from the river shoot over the treetops on the Fourth of July. Celeste and her friend, Amy, have done their homework by flashlight up there. Alexis sunbathes and often goes up just for some quiet time because the stars are closer and the bugs don’t seem to fly that high. Alexis recently suggested, “Mom, you need a break, why don’t you and Dad take a bottle of Cognac, I mean a glass, and go up on the roof for a romantic evening.” Somehow this place allows us to be romantic, and that is wonderful.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 12 ounces exotic mushroom caps (chanterelles, morels, or shiitakes), cleaned and sliced
- ¼ cup Madeira
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup washed, halved, and sliced leeks
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 6 slices crisp bacon, diced
Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over high heat. As the butter begins to brown, add the chicken breasts (in 2 batches if necessary) and brown on both sides, turning once. Remove to a warm plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside to keep warm.
Add the mushrooms to the same skillet and sauté until the mushroom juice evaporates and the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Madeira and reduce by half, about 3 minutes, then add the chicken broth. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, raise the heat to high, add the leeks, and stir in the cream. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thick, about 2 more minutes. Add the chicken to rewarm, then sprinkle with bacon and serve.
Serve with simple steamed Basic White Rice