I have a new philosophy of sauce: there is no such thing as too much sauce, but there is such a thing as not enough sauce delivery systems. I made sure to hold to that philosophy when making dinner last Saturday. Dinner was chicken with a mushroom sauce, and I didn’t just rely on the chicken to deliver saucy goodness, I also made some noodles to go with it.
Ooh, this sauce was so good. It was a reminder of why I love mushrooms so much. This sauce was good enough that the chicken wasn’t really needed, it would have stood up well on its own with just the noodles.
So, the carriers for the sauce were chicken breasts and egg noodles. Chicken breasts were simple, I just cut 2 boneless, skinless breasts in half, then cut the halves in half (since they were pretty gigantic chicken breasts), seasoned with salt and pepper, then browned them in the skillet with a bit of olive oil about 2-3 minutes a side until the chicken was cooked through, and set them aside when all sides were browned. The noodles were cooked in water with a cup of chicken broth added.
Boring parts over, now to the sauce.
I started with too many mushrooms, I got a 1 pound package of sliced mushrooms (the lazy option, since sliced and whole were the same price at the market). Over medium heat, I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter into the pan I cooked the chicken in, added the sliced mushrooms and one diced onion, and sauteed those until they turned that yummy brown. I then added a spoonful of minced garlic, thought about it for a second and added another spoonful and cooked that for another minute or two, then stirred in a tablespoon of corn starch. I seasoned with salt, black pepper, and dried thyme, then I added about 2 cups of chicken broth and a couple of big splashes of balsamic vinegar. Stir, stir, stir, then added maybe 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. I brought the sauce to a simmer, then added the chicken back to the pan and let it all simmer together for a couple of minutes.
This is one of those sauces where I never really bothered to measure how much I was using as far as seasoning goes, it’s all to taste. You want it creamier, add more cream. Love balsamic vinegar, add a bit more. Don’t like balsamic vinegar, don’t need to add it. Two tablespoons of butter not your idea of buttery, sneak in another tablespoon or two. Not a fan of chicken broth, well, I suppose vegetable broth will work just as well. And, of course, if you have fresh thyme, then that dried stuff can go spin. I love this sauce because you really don’t need to be exact and you can easily customize it to your preferences. Plus, well, it is mushrooms.
Anyway, I plated the noodles first, added some sauce, topped with a couple of the chicken breast strips, added more sauce, sprinkled some chopped parsley on top, and the mushroom sauce delivery system was all set. I added a side of asparagus sauteed in bacon fat and we had ourselves a pretty good dinner. And, as I mentioned earlier, this mushroom sauce is just plain tasty, everything else, pasta, chicken, steak, potatoes, bread, gigantic spoon, is just a servant to the mushroomy goodness.
Of course, this made enough for second helpings.
I’m behind on posts. There’s a jambalaya recipe I want to write about, yet another dish where the idea of measuring has never occurred to me.