Let me start this off with I knew Jessi's wouldn't even think about eating this one, I hoped, but knew it was a pipe dream. This girl can NOT stand mushrooms. Something that I don't understand since pretty much everyone else in our family likes them. Seth isn't jump up and down in love with them, but he at least will eat them. Not Jessi, nuh uh, no way are you getting a mushroom anywhere near this girls mouth! So, as soon as she saw that there were 36 mushrooms in this recipe, well she got a bowl of Ramen and was happy.
Kevin and I on the other hand were having a very hard time leaving the mushrooms in the pan until the end of the meal! I just love sauteed mushrooms, as does Kevin. We kept standing over the pot impatiently waiting for them to cook, and balsamic cream sauce? Oh My Gosh!!! Heavenly!! I could have made a meal of just the mushroom and sauce over the orzo pasta. Kevin was just smelling the balsamic out of the bottle and said it smelled so good he wanted to take a drink! There is nothing like a nice aged balsamic, so yummy.
On the chicken side of things, I suggest using chicken cutlets or boneless skinless chicken thighs, depending on your preference for light or dark meat. The issue with the whole breast half, is the typical one, they dry out. I am not a big fan of white meat chicken unless it is in a cutlet or chopped up in something for that very reason. But this is not because of my prejudice, the chicken did come out dry even though I cooked it exactly as the recipe called for.
So recipe #52 is a pretty easy recipe. The hardest part is slicing all of those mushrooms on one cutting board! Kevin had done all the other prep work so there was garlic, shallots, and thyme on one corner of the board and I took over the rest with all of my mushrooms!
I think this one is a keeper just for the sauce alone. I will definitely make it with thighs next time though.
Chicken with Wild Mushrooms and Balsamic Cream Sauce
1/2 pound orzo pasta
2 tablespoons EVOO
4 6 ounce boneless,skinless chicken breast halves
Coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
12 white mushrooms, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the orzo. Cook until al dente.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the EVOO. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
Return the skillet to the heat, reduce the heat a bit, and add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown, season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic, shallots, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until the shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for 2 more minutes. Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar, and cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes, or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the chicken back to the skillet to heat up with the parsley, about 1 minute,
To serve, pile the orzo on a dinner plate and top with the sliced chicken and the sauce.