A hearty and flavorful dish of chicken and mushrooms is perfect for hosting because it looks so elegant, but it's also easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
I discovered how wonderful balsamic vinegar is when I made grilled zucchini for the first time, brushing the vegetable with a mixture of olive oil and vinegar. I've been thinking for a while now about using it in a chicken recipe, but it took me a while to reach a result that I deemed blog-worthy.
Chicken and mushrooms is such a classic combination. And when you cook them in a reduction of balsamic vinegar and finish the dish with butter, you have yourself a restaurant-style dish that you can proudly serve to guests, although it's easy enough to make regularly for your family.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make chicken and mushrooms. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
For the sauce: Balsamic vinegar, honey (real or sugar-free), kosher salt, black pepper, and dried thyme.
Chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. You could use chicken breasts, but it won't be the same - they're not as juicy. If you do opt for chicken breasts, I suggest you butterfly them to ensure even cooking.
Kosher salt and black pepper: To season the chicken.
Fat for frying: You can use olive oil, avocado oil, or ghee - whatever you like. I like to use ghee.
Mushrooms: To make life easier, I use pre-sliced mushrooms. But you can obviously slice them yourself. White mushrooms work, as do cremini mushrooms.
Garlic: I use minced garlic. You can also thinly slice a few garlic cloves.
Butter: For finishing the dish. It greatly enhances the sauce and makes it creamier.
Chopped parsley: This is strictly used for garnish, so it's OK to skip it. Although it does greatly enhance the dish in terms of presentation.
How to make chicken and mushrooms
It's truly easy, especially considering this is such an elegant dish. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps:
1. Your very first step is to mix the sauce, then set it aside.
2. Next, you fry chicken thighs on both sides, until cooked through.
3. Set the chicken aside, covering it with foil to keep it warm. Then use the same skillet to cook the mushrooms and garlic.
4. Add the sauce and simmer until it's reduced, then add back the chicken and heat through.
5. That's it! To serve, divide the chicken and mushrooms between plates, brush or drizzle with the pan juices, and sprinkle with parsley.
As mentioned above, you can use butterflied chicken breasts, although I do highly recommend using chicken thighs in this recipe for the juiciest results.
You can definitely vary the fat you use for frying. I tend to use ghee, but olive oil is delicious too.
When adding the mushrooms, you can also add about half a cup of chopped onions.
Garlic slices are just as good as minced garlic. It's just that I'm lazy so I tend to use jarred minced garlic.
Instead of dried thyme, you could use dried oregano. Both are excellent, although thyme is definitely my favorite.
How to serve chicken and mushrooms
You can simply serve this flavorful dish all on its own. It's a complete meal of meat and vegetables.
Sometimes I spoon it on top of cauliflower rice (you can obviously use real rice if you wish). It nicely soaks up the juices.
What about leftovers?
Like most chicken recipes, leftovers of this dish keep fairly well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Although keep in mind that reheated chicken is never as good as freshly cooked chicken. You can reheat the leftovers in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Chicken and Mushrooms
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (regular or sugar-free)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs (4-5 pieces)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
- 1 lb. sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, kosher salt, black pepper, and dried thyme. Set aside.
- Season the chicken thighs with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Heat the ghee in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat. Add the chicken thighs in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 7 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces and cook until cooked through, about 7 more minutes. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add the mushrooms to the same skillet with a splash of water (about 2 tablespoons). Gently stir the mushrooms while also scraping the bottom of the skillet to remove the tasty brown bits that have stuck to it.
- After the mushrooms have started reducing a bit in volume, stir in the garlic.
- Cook the mushrooms and garlic, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and browned, and the liquid that they have released has evaporated, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the sauce to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter until it melts.
- Add the chicken thighs back to the skillet, turning them to coat in the sauce. Cook for a couple more minutes to heat through.
- Divide the chicken and mushrooms between four plates. Drizzle or brush with the pan juices and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.