It’s rare that I get a really strong food craving (besides chocolate) when I’m not pregnant (and I’m not pregnant, pinky swear). You know, the kind of craving where you are like “I have to have this now and if I don’t, I’ll probably die.” That kind of craving.
The other night I got one of those. And of all things, seriously all things, it was for smothered chicken and mashed potatoes. Who am I? I would have thought when the craving hit, it would have been something luxurious and expensive, like Chilean Sea Bass (speaking of pregnancy, I once ate a heaping portion of Chilean Sea Bass while I was pregnant without realizing it was on the outlawed list of fishes to eat while pregnant; my OB was not a happy camper about my stupidity and mercury level tests became my BFF; but it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, so there).
Because I didn’t want to expire from an unfulfilled craving, I set out to create the perfect smothered chicken recipe. It was a lot easier than I thought and oh, so delicious. Pan-seared chicken breasts are smothered in a light, creamy mushroom gravy. The entire concoction is meant to live with tender mashed potatoes so don’t forget those. I threw in a side of steamed broccoli and let me tell you, my craving was thoroughly satisfied.
I try to get 4-6 chicken pieces out of this dinner so if the chicken breasts I'm using are really thick, I cut them in half to form two thinner chicken cutlets. The chicken and gravy are divine served over mashed potatoes, like this garlic Parmesan recipe.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced (or 1/4 cup finely minced yellow or white onion)
- 8 ounces white button or baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or beef broth
- 1/2 cup milk, half-and-half or cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until rippling and hot. Add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked through. Don't overcook or you'll have dry chicken (if you have a thermometer, cook until 165 degrees F). Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Add the butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Stir in the shallot, mushrooms, salt, thyme and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and golden and the liquid has released and most of it has evaporated, 8-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom/onion mixture and stir while the mixture cooks for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth, adding just a bit at a time and whisking until thick then adding a bit more (this will help the flour to absorb into the liquid and not clump on the mushrooms). Once all the broth has been added and the sauce is smooth, stir in the milk, and simmer the mixture for 5-7 minutes until it is thick and bubbly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over the reserved chicken (this is divine with mashed potatoes).