Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley

By 7 m read
Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

You know the satisfaction you get when you cook a meal that turns out delicious with little effort.

 

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms fits this category. It’s a one-skillet dish that’s deeply satisfying and nourishing. Caramelized onions add sweetness, mushrooms add umami, and balsamic vinegar adds a sweet, slightly tangy flavor.

 

And underneath this wonderfully rich fall sauce awaits a perfectly browned, succulent, boneless chicken breast.

 

After the first bite, you’ll thank your chef for slaving in the kitchen for hours to produce this memorable meal. But wait, you made it. In under an hour. Yourself. Alone. With one skillet to clean. 

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms

Maybe you think this intro sounds like a bit of hyperbole. Maybe not. Why don’t you try it and find out for yourself. 

 

It starts with a perfectly sautéed chicken breast. 

 

This dish starts with an important first step: Browning boneless, skinless chicken breasts to perfection without drying them out. You might remember this foolproof method I posted a little while ago. That’s one way to do it, but it takes a little more time. So here’s another method that works very well if you pay attention to one important detail: make sure your chicken breasts are even in thickness. Of course, there will be some thinner edges, but the bulk should be even, about 1/2” thick. The easiest way to accomplish this? After you trim and dry your chicken breasts, put them in a ziplok bag and, using a rolling pin, pound them to an even thickness. Depending on the size of the ziplok bag and/or the number of chicken breasts, do it in batches. 

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

 

Add olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. After a minute or so, sprinkle a drop of water in the pan. If the water sizzles, the oil is ready to brown the chicken. Add your seasoned chicken breasts to the pan. Don’t crowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary. If the chicken breasts touch, they’ll steam instead of brown around the edges. Let them sizzle for about five minutes. You don’t have to move them around. They might stick a little bit in the beginning when they first touch the hot oil. Once they start browning on the outside, they’ll come loose, mostly. Turn after five minutes and brown the other side for another five minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Do not clean your pan. The little brown bits that the chicken left behind on the bottom of the pan will be part of the pan sauce.

 

How to make the pan sauce (aka deglazing)  

Leave the skillet over the same heat and add butter. While the butter melts, you can use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits and pieces that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add onions and stir regularly for a couple of minutes until the onions become translucent and absorb the butter. The butter will also pick up the bits of chicken that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. A good way to tell the onions are done is when your kitchen starts to smell so good that your stomach starts to growl and you start licking your lips.

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Now you can add the roughly chopped mushrooms and the minced garlic. Watch the heat and turn it down a bit if it’s too hot. The mushrooms should sizzle a little. Mushrooms cook in an interesting way. They need some time. First, they’ll release some moisture (mushrooms are about 90% water), then they’ll soak it back in and start to brown (unless you sauté them over high heat, which will brown them much quicker but will leave behind a slightly rubbery inside and less tasty ‘shrooms). 

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Once your mushrooms release some of their moisture, after about 5 minutes, add chicken stock and cook for another 10 minutes. Now the mushrooms will absorb some of the pan liquids and that is what makes mushrooms one of my favorite ingredients. You can literally “feed” your mushroom flavor. 

 

How to finish the sauce

It’s a fantastic sauce by now. All we have to do is make it creamy and tangy and herby. For that, we’ll add heavy cream, balsamic vinegar, and thyme. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes to reduce some of the liquid. 

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

At this point, you can control exactly how thick you’d like your sauce to be. Let it bubble until it reaches your desired thickness. Now it’s time to taste. Depending on what type of butter and what type of chicken stock you used, it might need a little more salt. My favorite way to find out if a sauce needs more salt is a trick I learned in Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, which goes something like this:

 

Put a little bit of sauce on a spoon and taste it. Again, put a little bit of sauce on the spoon. But this time, add a tiny sprinkle of salt. Is it tastier this time? No? Serve. Yes? Add some salt to the pan and try again. Repeat as necessary. From now on, your soups, stews, and sauces will always be perfectly salted. Thank you, Samin!

 

The finishing touches

When the balsamic mushroom sauce is ready to go, add your chicken back into the pan, sprinkle it with a handful of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, and cook for a couple of minutes. Just enough to reheat the chicken. 

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Serve with your favorite side dish. I like my creamy balsamic chicken with some mashed potatoes. Or a rustic bread to soak up every last drop of this incredibly tasty sauce. 

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Looking for more delicious dinner ideas? Check out a few more of our delicious recipes:

And learn about mushrooms too!

 

Did you make this Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms? Let us know in the comments below!

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Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Fresh Parsley

Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms is a one-skillet dish that’s deeply satisfying and nourishing. Caramelized onions add sweetness, mushrooms add umami, and balsamic vinegar adds a sweet, slightly tangy flavor. And underneath this wonderfully rich fall sauce awaits a perfectly browned, succulent, boneless chicken breast.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 6 oz onion (or shallot), thinly sliced
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp thyme (dried or fresh)
  • 1 c flat-leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Trim and pat dry chicken breasts.
  • Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, about 1/2" thick.
  • Season on both sides with 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  • Add olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. After a minute or so, sprinkle a drop of water in the pan. If the water sizzles, the oil is ready to brown the chicken. 
  • Add your seasoned chicken breasts to the pan. Don’t crowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary.
  • Turn after five minutes and brown the other side for another five minutes. 
  • Remove the chicken and set aside. Do not clean your pan.
  • Leave the skillet over the same heat and add butter. While the butter melts, you can use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits and pieces that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. 
  • Add onions and stir regularly for a couple of minutes until the onions become translucent and absorb the butter.
  • Add the roughly chopped mushrooms and the minced garlic. Watch the heat and turn it down a bit if it’s too hot. The mushrooms should sizzle a little. 
  • Once your mushrooms release some of their moisture, after about 5 minutes, add chicken stock and cook for another 10 minutes. 
  • Add heavy cream, balsamic vinegar, and thyme.
  • Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes to reduce some of the liquid. Let it bubble until it reaches your desired thickness. 
  • Now it’s time to taste. Depending on what type of butter and what type of chicken stock you used, it might need a little more salt. 
  • When the balsamic mushroom sauce is ready to go, add your chicken back into the pan, sprinkle it with a handful of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, and cook for a couple of minutes. Just enough to reheat the chicken. 
  • Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!

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