Monday, October 29, 2012

Simple Chicken & Mushrooms

Sometimes simple really IS better. This recipe is incredibly simplistic and easy. With only four ingredients (I'm not counting salt, pepper and water - if you don't have these items in your kitchen, you're probably not EVER cooking your own meals), two if you, like me, consider the oil and butter negligible (NEVER do I not have olive oil and butter in the house), you can easily create a wonderful meal. Simple, easy chicken and mushrooms.

Since this recipe IS so simple, I prefer to spend the extra money for good chicken, locally-sourced if possible, or, at the very least, some that isn't plumped up with water or stuffed full of hormones or antibiotics. Sure, this requires a trip to somewhere like Whole Foods, Earth Fare, or Fresh Market, but the difference in flavor is definitely apparent. Also, buy your mushrooms whole and then slice them yourself - usually the pre-sliced ones are sliced too thin for this recipe. You don't even need "fancy" mushrooms - the plain old button mushrooms are perfect! 

Side note: NEVER use water to clean mushrooms; simply brush the "growing medium" off with a soft-bristled brush, or use a SLIGHTLY damp paper towel. 

This recipe is all about K.I.S.S.; it's uncomplicated, doesn't require a ton of fancy ingredients, and only asks that you have a few basic cooking skills. All you need is an ovensafe skillet, preferably a heavy-bottomed stainless steel one, or (of course) cast iron; definitely DO NOT use a nonstick skillet - so much of the chicken's flavors comes from a good sear, which you just cannot get with a nonstick skillet. 

Choose simple side dishes to compliment this dish - I'd recommend simple roasted potatoes, or maybe just some fresh green beans. Or both

Simple Chicken & Mushrooms
adapted from

2 large skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
8oz thickly-sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter

Season both sides of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Sometimes these breasts come with skin-on, but aren't boneless; simply debone the chicken yourself (I promise this isn't difficult). 

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in an oven-safe pan (cast iron or stainless steel). Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, skin-side down, and let sear for 5 minutes. Don't touch the chicken - you WANT that sear, and moving it around isn't going to make that happen :)

Flip the chicken, add the mushrooms to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt, and cook for another 5 minutes. Place the pan inside a 400° oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°. 

Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a plate, and loosely tent with foil. Return the skillet to the stove and saute the mushrooms over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. 

Add 1/2 cup water to the pan and deglaze. Cook until the liquid has reduced by 1/2, about 5 minutes. Add any juices that have accumulated on the chicken plate along with the butter. 

Once the butter has melted, season the sauce with salt & pepper, then serve over the chicken. 


  1. :) You are my recipe angel! Last night I took chicken breasts out to thaw for tonight's dinner. When I woke up this morning I was thinking to myself, "okay what's a different recipe I can use for the chicken?" I want about my morning checking my emails and suddenly yours appeared! I Thank you very much, Julia, for your blog! We have enjoyed many amazing dinners because of you. XOXOXOXO. Theresa. Mentone, CA.

    1. Theresa, I'm so glad that you enjoyed the recipe (and others of mine)!! Thank you so much for reading :)

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