Creamy chicken thyme (with lemon, garlic, and mushrooms)
It's Creamy Chicken Thyme! Skinless, boneless, lemony-garlicky chicken breasts – pan fried and finished off in the oven – with mushrooms and egg noodles, under a creamy Pinot Grigio sauce. So homey and comfort-foodie, I can't believe my grandmother didn't make it.
What you need to serve 6:
1 Tbs roasted garlic
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
3½ lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1½ cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbs olive oil (plus more, as needed)
1 package (12 oz.) egg noodles
FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
¼ cup butter (½ stick)
1 medium white onion, cut into wedges or diced
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
FOR THE SAUCE:
White wine – Pinot Grigio works well
2½ cup milk
2 cups half-and-half
½ cup butter
2 Tbs dry minced onions
½ tsp salt
How to do it:
- Crack eggs into a large Ziploc. Add garlic, juice, and zest. Close the bag and mash the mixture with your hands to mix it. Add chicken. Seal bag and make sure the chicken is well coated. Marinate chicken in the fridge for at least 3 hours. During that time, go to the gym to make a preemptive strike against the calories you're about to consume. When you get home, watch an episode of Black Mirror, or Penny Dreadful. Then, skip ahead to the mushrooms, and finish those before frying the chicken.
- Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, and thyme. Reserve 6 Tbs for the sauce. Use remaining flour mixture for dredge.
- Ready a 9×13 baking dish.
- Open a window. Heat large skillet on med high and add the olive oil.
- Remove chicken from baggie and dredge in the flour mixture.
- Place coated chicken in skillet and brown on each side, about 4 minutes per side. You may have to do this in batches, unless you have an enormous pan.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Arrange the chicken in the baking dish. Spoon the mushrooms all around it. Cover chicken with foil and bake until it reaches desired temperature, 40 to 50 minutes, depending, removing foil about 2/3 of the way in.
- Once the chicken comes out of the oven, use a turkey baster to suck up the juices and add them to the finished sauce. Cook the sauce down a bit if this makes it too thin. Re-check for seasoning.
- The finished chicken and sauce can be held for some time in a warm oven.
- Cook noodles to al dente. Serve chicken and mushrooms with noodles on the side, the whole thing covered in sauce, accompanied by what remains of the wine. Maybe put a salad next to it, because you know, vegetables.
FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over a medium-high flame.
- Add the onions, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about five minutes. (If using onion wedges, brown them on each cut side.) Remove onions. Add a drop of olive oil to the pan and add as many of the mushrooms as will fit without overcrowding. Brown the mushrooms. Continue browning the mushrooms in batches until you've browned them all, adding oil if the pan gets dry.
FOR THE SAUCE:
- While the chicken is baking, pour what oil you can off the chicken pan. Deglaze it with ¼-cup of wine. Scrape the entire contents of the pan into a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add the half-and-half to the milk and set aside.
- Add butter to the saucepan, and light a med-high fire under it. Once the butter's melted, add onion. Add the reserved flour mixture. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the milk and stir like a MOFO. Stir until sauce thickens. If it gets too thick, thin it out with more wine. Add salt, and check seasoning.
- This recipe is based on a "family pack" of chicken. The pack I bought came with five breast halves. If you need to serve six, you could cut each of the breasts into six roughly same-size pieces, and each person gets five pieces. Or you should coarsely shred the cooked chicken, and toss the whole dish together – noodles, mushroom, sauce, and all. It's delicious this way.
- For what would normally be oil in a marinade, I substituted egg. I can't find any research that says this should work. I just guessed that it would work, and it seems to have. If you have any insight into this, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Egg gives a nice, thick, battery coating to the chicken.
- Thinly sliced carrots would be a nice accompaniment to this meal.
- I used Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio 2013 (Dolomiti) for this dish and really liked it – not just in the sauce, but to accompany the meal. I'd buy another bottle.
- You could prep the mushrooms and sauce a day in advance. The finished dish, though, is best the day it's made.
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