Albino Penguin au Vin Blanc
This dish is chicken breasts in a white wine sauce. In Lovecraft, the Albino Penguins are the largest breed of penguin – over 6 feet tall – that are actually quite harmless to humans. I found that the sliced mushrooms in this dish really helped it look like something out of a Lovecraft story.
I admit that this recipe confused me a little bit at the beginning. It lists “Giant Albino Penguin breasts” as an ingredient, followed by “(chicken breasts are okay).” So of course, I used chicken breasts. But then the first step is to marinate the penguin breasts for 3 days in a vinegar, salt, pepper, and white wine mixture, but to skip this step if using chicken breasts. I assume everyone is using chicken breasts, since Giant Albino Penguins don’t exist, so why bother inserting this step? They even listed vinegar in the ingredients list, which I probably would have purchased if I didn’t already have some in my pantry.
Anyway, the rest of the recipe was pretty normal to follow.
The chicken breasts are patted dry, seasoned with salt and pepper, and set aside. I pounded ours flat a little bit since they were so giant, to make sure they cooked all the way through. Although this recipe simmers for quite a while so it probably wasn’t necessary.
Chopped bacon is cooked in a pan for a few minutes before adding garlic and cooking until golden. The chopped white onion and sliced portobello mushrooms are added in at this point, and cooked until the bacon is nice and crispy. Then everything is removed from the pan.
Using the same pan, the chicken breasts are seared over high heat before adding the veggies and bacon mix back to the pan for a few minutes. At this point, the veggies should be done.
Now white wine is added along with a pinch of salt, and the entire thing simmers for about 15-20 minutes. I completely missed the “covered” part and ended up cooking this uncovered, so I ended up adding in some extra wine as it cooked since much of it evaporated.
Then heavy cream is added with a pinch of pepper, and it simmers a little bit longer until done.
The chicken breasts are served with rice or pasta (we picked rice), and topped with the sauce and some chopped parsley.
Even though I forgot to cover the dish while it simmered, this was still absolutely delicious! The wine mixed with the cream and mushrooms turned into a really nice sauce for the chicken. I’m guessing it would have been more liquidy had I kept it covered, which would have been nice to mix with the rice.
While not overly complicated, you do need to keep an eye on the vegetables while cooking over the stove. I found the estimated times weren’t exact for my stovetop, so I had to eyeball the veggies a bit when making sure they’re done.
The recipe also just says “add more white wine if needed,” but this is the first time you’ll be adding in wine. The ingredients call for 1 cup, but that’s to be used with the non-existent penguin breasts in the step you skip if you’re making this with chicken breasts instead (which is all of us). So again, I eyeballed this. I think I ended up pouring in about 3/4 cup or so in total, but I also cut the recipe in half so you might need more.
You’ll need chicken breasts, white wine, bacon, garlic, onion, portobello mushrooms, heavy cream, parsley, and rice or pasta for serving.
The white wine could increase cost on this, but since it’s being used for cooking only you don’t need to bother with an expensive bottle.
The Side Dish Not to be Named
This side dish is actually creamed spinach with pearl onion and bok choy. “He Who is Not to be Named” might sound familiar to Harry Potter fans, but in this case it’s referring to Hastur and not Voldemort. Hastur is an octopoid being that is described as a god / deity of shepherds, and the spinach and strips of bok choy help to give this dish a octopoid-like appearance!
I cut this recipe in half too, since it said it serves four, but if I did this again I would make the whole thing for my husband and I. Two servings ended up not being very much at all!
Pearl onions are cooked until they start to brown, and then the spinach, bok choy, salt, pepper, and nutmeg are added and cooked until the spinach wilts. Okay, I admit I used Sweet Cipollini onions instead of pearl, since pearl weren’t available at the store when I went. Close enough!
In a separate pot, flour is whisked with oil until bubbling and then milk is slowly added, again until bubbling. It’s then removed from heat and cheese is mixed in until melted and smooth.
Finally, the veggies are combined with the cheese mixture and served.
I mean…it’s veggies in a creamy cheese mixture. Of course it’s delicious! Not to mention I’m a huge fan of pearl (okay, okay, cipollini) onions!
You’ll need to keep a close eye on everything to make sure nothing burns – both the veggies and the milk.
You’ll need pearl onions, spinach, bok choy, nutmeg, flour, milk and Colby-Jack cheese.