I mentioned how my friend Amber is responsible for my rather manic fascination with making strawberry shortcake crumb topping to recreate a childhood food memory. I briefly mentioned how she readily shares the arsenal of tools that she has, sometimes having Amazon dropping an unexpected box of exactly what you need on your door step. That’s how I came to have Weeknight Chicken and Mushroom Sauce.
No, Amber didn’t have dinner delivered to my house. What she did was hear me say that I was overwhelmed by the struggle to be back at work (even if it was just one or two days a week at that time), take care of the Tater Tot, and cook dinner on a regular basis. She heard me and she took action. Thanks to Amazon’s freakishly quick ability to get product delivered, a day later there was a smiling Amazon.com box sitting on my doorstep. Inside was a survival guide with recipes and strategies for how to keep The Mistah and I fed in spite of the crazy new demands on our time and attention.
A. Freaking. Men.
Better than a casserole that freezes beautifully (but that won’t fit in my poorly chosen side by side), Amber gave me the tools to fit cooking back into my routine. I still have days where I struggle with it. But I also have days where I thaw some chicken breasts, chop some mushrooms, and call it dinner. Amber, I hope I can return this act of kindness to you because it’s made a world of difference to me.
Weeknight Chicken and Mushroom Sauce
Adapted from Parents Need to Eat Too
BAH Note: This is what I scribbled on a piece of paper and tucked into the book at this recipe’s page – “easy weeknight supper can cook chicken 3 minutes / side then cook 5-10 min @ 350 degrees” In my scribbles, capitalization and punctuation seem to be optional.
If the idea of having to wash two frying pans makes you want to cry, once you remove the cooked chicken breasts from the oven (carefully, that handle is going to be HOT), wrap the chicken in a bit of foil to keep it warm and use that pan to make the sauce, omitting 3rd tablespoon of oil. You’ll get to the same place, it will just take a little longer.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons agave or honey
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with a pinch of kosher salt and some black pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven safe frying pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for three minutes on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the chicken is done.
While the chicken finishes cooking in the oven, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to another skillet and heat until it shimmers. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the liquid released by the mushrooms is mostly evaporated. Add the sherry, agave (or honey), and vinegar to the pan and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter to the sauce, whisking to combine. Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt to taste.
Add the cooked chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and serve the chicken topped with mushrooms and sauce.