Homemade – Chicken with Wild Mushrooms and Balsamic Cream SauceJessica | July 28, 2009
I think I have a pretty good sense of when I don’t want my mom in the kitchen…those days when the kitchen can never be cleaned up enough, or no one appreciates that she cooks every day…so on those days I like to try and have something on the stove before she even gets home from work (along with a margarita in the freezer ). Rachel Ray’s quick meals are great for times like these. Her chicken with wild mushrooms and balsamic cream sauce is especially good because I usually have most of the ingredients (aside from the mushrooms) in my cabinets anyway, so it’s always really easy to throw together.
Start by getting some water boiling for the orzo pasta. My mom loves rice-shaped orzo (another reason I chose this dish) and while you probably could serve it with actual rice, the pasta somehow makes the meal seem a little more “gourmet”. Waiting for water to boil is a good time to slice up the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and shallots (unless you have one of those 90-second convection stovetops…how does that work?!) before getting started.
I always debate on whether I should thrown the chicken on my George Foreman or cook it in the pan as the recipe calls for. I always end up doing the latter–and have an ugly grease burn to show for it; always flip the chicken away from you–because I know that the pan juices add a little something extra to the sauce in the end. After the chicken is cooked and set aside, add the mushrooms to the pan. It seems like a LOT of mushrooms, but don’t worry, they cook down quite a bit. The other chopped items and sauce ingredients go in afterward to cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken back in with a handful of parsley and you’re done! Top the orzo with sauce and serve. So quick, easy, and delicious. It reheats well too, I used to love taking my leftovers to work for lunch the next day!
Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Balsamic Cream Sauce
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 4 servings
- 1/2 pound orzo pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 12 white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, a couple of sprigs, chopped
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half, a couple turns of the pan
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful
Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add orzo pasta. Cook to al dente.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
Return the skillet to the heat, turn heat back a bit, and add the butter. Once the butter melts add the mushrooms and brown stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown season with salt and pepper then add the garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the parsley and the chicken back to the skillet to heat up, about 1 minute.
To serve, pile orzo on dinner plates and top with the sliced chicken and sauce.