A quick 20-minute chicken dinner that’s simple enough for midweek but elegant enough for company, my versatile Creamy Mushroom Sauce served with a lightly crusted chicken breast. It’s as tasty as it looks and is very, very, very good!
Quick Chicken Breast recipe that’s good enough for company!
Thus I’ve deemed it a recipe I must also have on my own website!
The Creamy Mushroom Sauce is the real hero in this dish. It’s an excellent sauce option for lean chicken breast meat, adding richness and wow factor!
What goes in Chicken Breast with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
The creamy mushroom sauce in this recipe is an excellent sauce for chicken breast, adding richness to what is an otherwise very lean meat.
And it’s a notch above the usual basic mushroom sauce recipes, thanks to a splash of white wine, parmesan and chicken stock/broth. These are all well-established flavour enhancers / umami-boosters that I use regularly and I don’t hold back!
- Chicken breast – just 2 which we cut in half horizontally to make 4 steaks (which will serve 4 if you used big breasts). Boneless thigh fillets work as well. If using thighs, I recommend pounding the meat to even out the thickness and for more flat surface area, so it pan-fries to a more even crispness;
- Flour – this is to dust the chicken which gives it a light crispy coating and gives the sauce something to cling to. Without it, the sauce slips off the surface of the chicken. This is not a big deal as such, but it is nicer when the sauce stays on the chicken when you spoon it on!
- Mushrooms – any type of small sliceable mushrooms will work here. Swiss/Cremini mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms are great – I’ve just used standard white button mushrooms;
- Garlic – because where there are mushrooms, there is always garlic! (At least, in my world … )
- Butter – because also in my world, where there are mushrooms and garlic, butter must make an appearance too. Butter is flavour (and so much more!) However olive oil, margarine and other alternatives will work just fine too because this sauce has other flavourings in it (ie. cream and parmesan);
- Cream – because we’re making a creamy sauce here! Lower fat alternative: evaporated milk. This actually works better than low fat cream because the consistency is thicker, and is ~30% lower in calories than full fat cream.
- White wine – Ah, the secret ingredient! A little splash of white wine goes a long way to add depth of flavour to simple sauces like this, especially when used to deglaze the pan. Deglazing is when you use a liquid (wine in this case) to dissolve the golden bits stuck on the base of the pan after pan serving the chicken. Those golden bits – properly called fond – are free flavour and underpins of the incredible taste in this otherwise simple creamy sauce!
- Parmesan – the flavour turbocharger! Parmesan heightens the savouriness even further and adds another layer of flavour. Plus for this recipe, it helps thicken the sauce rather than needing gallons of cream; and
- Chicken stock/broth – to add even more body to this creamy sauce!
How to make Chicken in Creamy Mushroom Sauce
This is a truly nice and quick chicken recipe:
- 4 minutes to cook the chicken to golden
- 5 minutes to sauté the mushrooms
- 3 minutes to finish the sauce
- Split chicken: Cut chicken in half horizontally to give two thin steaks per breast so you have four steaks in total. Cutting the breast in this way is an excellent way to cook chicken breast on the stove as it cooks faster and more evenly. By contrast, a whole breast is much thicker, so the outer rim and the thin tail-end overcooks and dries out before the middle of the thickest part cooks through (unless you pound them to an even thickness);
- Season and dust: Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, then flour;
- Pan-fry chicken in butter until golden and crispy – just 2 minutes on each side will do because the chicken is now cut helpfully thinner;
- Cook mushrooms: Remove the chicken, then melt some more butter to cook the mushrooms in until golden. Pro tip: Add the garlic towards the end otherwise it burns well before the mushrooms are done;
5. Deglaze pan: Add the wine – it will be bubble vigorously and be steamy! We’re going to simmer rapidly to cook out the alcohol and just leave behind the flavour. Also, as it simmers, all the brown stuff on the bottom of the skillet from browning the chicken AND mushrooms (this is called fond) will dissolve into the liquid which makes the sauce even tastier!
6. Make it creamy: Add the cream and parmesan;
7. Simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce and thicken; and
8. Serve! Return the chicken to the pan to warm through and coat the base with sauce. Then serve!
Oh and just in case you were in any way concerned, this dish comes with plenty of sauce. Nobody has ever accused me of skimping on sauce! So rest assured that whatever starchy vehicle of choice you serve this with will be well-soaked with the creamy mushroom sauce.
This rich, creamy Mushroom Sauce is particularly excellent with lean chicken breast!
What to serve with this dish
A sauce this good calls for something worthy of soaking and mopping up this liquid gold!
- Creamy Mashed Potato rates highly amongst my picks (or here’s the low carb version – Creamy Mashed Cauliflower)
- Pasta, polenta, mashed beans or plain rice (brown, white, jasmine, basmati – find them all here)
- Crusty bread or soft dinner rolls are always good for mopping
Then something green and clean to complete your plate. The chicken is pictured with store-bought mixed greens with my reliable Everyday Salad Dressing (any vinegar, oil, mustard). Use for everything – and I really do. Fresh leafy greens, chopped juicy veg (cucumber, tomato), shaved raw veg (fennel, asparagus), or even steamed vegetables (broccoli, beans, peas!). Enjoy! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
It’s an excellent sauce to serve with chicken breast, which is very lean and doesn’t actually have very much flavour. Also, the lightly-floured crust on the chicken makes it nice and crispy, giving the sauce something to cling on to. So don’t skip it!
- 2 chicken breasts, large (boneless skinless, ~600-700g / 1.2 – 1.4 lb total, Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 15g / 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 30g / 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 300g / 10 oz mushrooms , sliced (button or Swiss brown)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (sub more chicken stock, Note 2)
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock , low sodium
- 1 cup thickened / heavy cream , full fat (Note 3)
- 1/2 cup parmesan , finely and freshly grated (Note 4)
- 2 tbsp chives , finely sliced (optional) – sub parsley, green onions, or omit
Split breast: Cut each breast in half horizontally to form 4 thin steaks in total.
Dust with flour: Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with flour and use your fingers to spread it all over the surface.
Cook chicken: Melt 15g butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook each side for 2 1/2 minutes until golden brown and just cooked through. Remove from pan, cover and keep warm.
Cook mushrooms: In the same frying pan, add remaining butter and increase heat to high. Add mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown on the edges.
Add garlic later: Then add garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper, and continue cooking for another minute until both garlic and mushrooms are golden.
Deglaze skillet: Add white wine – it will bubble and be steamy! Cook for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom of the pan, until wine is mostly evaporated and the alcohol smell is gone.
Make creamy sauce: Add chicken stock, cook vigorously for 1 minute so it mostly evaporates. Then add cream, lower heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes until it reduces and thickens slightly.
Add parmesan: Stir in parmesan, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Finish chicken in sauce: Return chicken to sauce for 30 seconds (to warm through slightly.) Garnish with chives and serve as-is in the pan, for people to help themselves (or transfer to serving platter, if you prefer). Alternatively, serve a portion of chicken onto each plate, spoon sauce over and garnish with more chives.
Sides: Ideal served with mashed potato or rice – something to soak in that amazing sauce! See Note 5 for suggestions.
Breast is best because once sliced in half they make two flat steaks which cook through quickly and evenly with a nice crust. Thigh works too but either butterfly the thick end to make it more even in thickness, or pound out.
2. White wine adds more depth of flavour to the sauce and is used for deglazing the pan (ie. dissolving the tasty golden bits left in the skillet from browning the chicken into the sauce = free flavour!)
I use sauvignon blanc or pinot gris (because they’re my drinking wines!). Anything that’s not overly fruity and sweet (like some rieslings) or too woody (like some heavily oaked chardonnays) will be fine.
3. Cream – full-fat thickened cream / heavy cream will yield the best results. For a lower fat alternative, use evaporated milk (preferred) or low-fat cream.
4. Parmesan – you need to grate your own from a block to ensure that it melts into the creamy sauce. Store-bought, pre-grated in any form (sandy, or fine batons) just doesn’t melt properly in sauces. Sorry!
When measuring, remember that freshly grated is aerated so the volume will look far greater than the weight, so you need to pack the cup down lightly (ie. 50g / 2oz freshly grated parmesan = over 1 cup in naked volume, but 1/2 cup lightly packed).
5. Sides for serving:
- Creamy Mashed Potato rates highly on my list (and here’s the low carb version – Creamy Mashed Cauliflower)
- Pasta, polenta, mashed beans or plain rice (brown, white, jasmine, basmati – find them all here)
- Crusty bread or soft dinner rolls for mopping
6. Storage – store chicken in the sauce (it helps keep it moist) for up to 3 days in the fridge, then reheat gently using microwave (take care not to overcook the chicken).
7. Nutrition per serving, assuming all sauce is consumed.
This is a recipe I originally created for Good Food Australia which I deemed too good not share on my own website!
Life of Dozer
Dozer on the job, using his highly developed palette to ensure the chicken is perfectly cooked. (He gobbled it down so fast he wasn’t sure, calling for another piece to try again… and again and again….)