Jun 112010
 
I was in a chicken rut.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a definite go to because it’s healthy and easy and inexpensive.  But how many times a week can you really eat the same old, dried-out, overdone (figuratively and literally) grilled chicken breasts?  Lately I’ve been trying to mix up my chicken routine. First it was with Chicken Cacciatore, and now it’s these amazing saucy, mushroomy chicken breasts.


First I seasoned the chicken and lightly dredged the chicken with whole wheat flour and began to brown the chicken in some olive oil.  


Browning commences.  


Then I added garlic and mushrooms.  Then the balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, bay leaf, and thyme.  You cover and simmer the entire mixture until the chicken is done cooking.  Then remove the chicken and continue to simmer the sauce so it reduces and thickens.  


I served these chicken breasts with my cool potatoes and a strawberry, arugula, and goat cheese salad. Let me tell you, it was an amazing meal.  Guest worthy but also simple enough for every day.  Take that chicken rut.

Also, I didn’t include the recipe for this salad, but arugula+crumbled goat cheese+sliced strawberries+simple vinaigrette=perfect spring salad and accompaniment for this chicky or basically everything else.


Health benefits:  This meal is low in fat and calories, high protein, and high in flavor.  I used organic chicken (as always) so we can worry a little less about all the mysterious things that can be in chicken these days.  There’s a good amount of garlic in this recipe which is wonderful for your heart.  

Chicken Breasts with Mushroom-Balsamic Sauce
adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (white mushrooms or baby bella/cremini would both work well)
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour, for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional…I left it out but if you’re serving guests maybe throw it in there 😉
Directions:
1.  Season chicken breasts well with salt and pepper.  Lightly dredge the chicken for whole wheat flour.
2.  Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Once oil is hot, put in chicken breasts and do not touch for 3 minutes.  Messing with the chicken too early might make it stick to the pan.  Ok, now you can flip the chicken. 
3.  Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms and stir often for about 3 minutes (chicken can kind of stay put but move mushrooms and garlic so they don’t burn).  Add the vinegar, broth, bay leaf, and thyme.  Cover the pan and lower heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes (turning chicken occasionally and spooning some sauce over the breasts).  
4.  Transfer cooked chicken to a serving platter and cover.  Simmer the mushroom sauce, uncovered over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes until it thickens a bit.  If you’re adding butter, stir it in to the sauce now and remove the bay leaf.  Spoon sauce over the chicken breasts and serve.

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