Friday, November 12, 2010

Date Night Dinner: Mushroom Smothered Chicken

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There's nothing worse than reaching into the cabinet to find that you are out of what you're looking for.  It rarely happens to me; I seem to have an iron brain when it comes to what is in the kitchen.  But, last week, I wanted to make chicken fajitas.  I reached into the cabinet and, there was no rice.  No matter, I thought, I'll just put it in tortilla shells.  Nope, none of those either.

Luckily for me, John was stuck in traffic (well, good for me; bad for him).  I had a little over an hour and I had made mashed potatoes the day before.  I used the Microwaved Red Potato recipe and added about 1/2 of a cup of whole milk and mixed it together.  Yum.  To me, mashed potatoes goes with meats, not chicken.  So, I hopped online to see if I could find anything.  A lot came up but I was out of most the ingredients.  Back to the drawing board.

I had about a cup of sliced mushrooms left from my Shell Casserole, white wine, garlic, onions, and lemon juice.  I thought, hmmm that could be a nice sauce. 
It was!  And yes, I used my wok, the biggest saucepan I have!  Then, I breaded the chicken and cooked it in a little vegetable oil.  I put some mashed potatoes on the plate, topped it with the chicken, and topped it all off with the mushroom sauce.  The dinner took a while; probably an hour, I'd say.  Way too long to qualify as a weeknight dinner.  However, John was so in love with the recipe; I thought it could be something featured on a menu at a restaurant!  There was something very comforting about chicken and mashed potatoes, and, it used lots of local and seasonal products!

Mushroom Smothered Chicken
Serves:  2
2 chicken breasts
     salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil (to cook chicken)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
12 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 tablespoons flour

First, pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/2 inch thick.  (If you've never done this before, don't be intimidated.  Place the chicken on a cutting board, top the chicken with some plastic wrap, and then using a rolling pin, roll the chicken out until 1/2 inch thick.  Me, before we had a rolling pin, I used to hammer it out.  It was more fun!

Then, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Dredge the chicken in breadcrumbs, patting to make sure breadcrumbs stay firmly on. 

Meanwhile, combine in a large saucepan the chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice, and italian seasoning over medium-high heat.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Then, add the crushed garlic and mushrooms.  Cook about 10 minutes more, until garlic becomes translucent; reduce heat to medium-low.  Finally, slowly add flour and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens.  (I used 3 tablespoons but I added it very gradually.  Don't just pour it in all at once, judge if you need more or less).

While sauce thickens, place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large skillet over a medium-hot burner.  Let oil warm, and then add chicken breasts, cooking about 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.  (I always cook mine too long because I'm afraid but 8 minutes seemed about right).

To plate, place 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes onto the plate, top with chicken and spoon sauce over the top.  I used about 1/4 cup of sauce to each chicken. 

Until the next time my oven is on...

1 comment:

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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