If chicken breasts brimming with lots of flavor is one of your goals, then this recipe is for you. Golden, crusty chicken on the outside; juicy and buttery on the inside; filled with two different types of cheeses, with the most delicious garlic butter mushrooms.
If there is not enough butter left in the pan after making the mushrooms, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan and when it is done foaming, sear two breasts at a time for about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the other two pieces of poultry.
And if you so choose, there’s an additional Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce to take it over the top, which we opted not to make. Rather, we deglazed the pan with dry vermouth (wine) when finished browning the stuffed breasts. Before the wine fully evaporates, add the poultry back into the pan with accumulated juices, cover and cook for the allotted 20 minutes.
Most likely, you will have some seepage of cheese oozing out into the pan, as you can see on the right-most two pieces in the top photo. But don’t waste it, use that along with the brown juices to pour over over your platter of chicken.
And because we couldn’t possibly stuff any more ingredients into the slits after the mozzarella and mushrooms, we saved the grated parm for a topping. Sprinkle equal amounts over each breasts, return to the oven for two minutes, then top with a few leftover mushroom slices. We paired ours with a homemade rice pilaf and steamed green beans with a garlic butter finish.
1-1/2 cups half and half or use reduced fat cream or evaporated milk*
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to your tastes
1/2 tsp. cornstarch cornflour mixed with 2 teaspoons of water, optional
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Melt butter in a large oven proof pan or skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in mushrooms, salt and pepper (to your tastes), and parsley. Cook while stirring occasionally until soft. Set aside and allow to cool while preparing your chicken.
Pat breasts dry with a paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and dried parsley. Rub each piece to evenly coat in seasoning.
Horizontally slice a slit through the thickest part of each breast to form a pocket. Fold and place 2 slices of mozzarella into each breast pocket.
Divide the mushroom mixture into four equal portions and fill each breast with the mushroom mixture (leave the juices in the pan for later. If there are any left over mushrooms, don’t worry. You’ll use them later). Top the mushroom mixture with 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese per breast. Seal with two or three toothpicks near the opening to keep the mushrooms inside while cooking.
Heat the same pan the mushrooms were in along with the pan juices (the garlic butter will start to brown and take on a ‘nutty’ flavor). Add the chicken and sear until golden. Flip and sear on the other side until golden; about 3 minutes per side. You may have to do this in two batches so that the meat sears instead of steams.
OPTIONAL: With pan empty, add 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine into hot pan and stir to loosen fond and browned bits. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan.
Cover tightly and continue cooking in preheated oven for a further 20 minutes, or until completely cooked through the middle and no longer pink.
Move to serving platter and remove toothpicks. Serve, with pan juices and any remaining mushrooms, on top of pasta, rice or steamed vegetables.
To make the optional cream sauce, transfer chicken to a warm plate, keeping all juices in the pan.
Fry the garlic in the leftover pan juices until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low heat, and add the mustard and half and half (or cream).
Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and add in any remaining mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Allow the sauce to simmer until the parmesan cheese has melted slightly. If the sauce is too runny for your liking, add the cornstarch/water mixture into the center of the pan and mix through fast to combine into the sauce. It will begin to thicken immediately.
Season with a little salt and pepper to your taste. Add in the parsley and the chicken back into the pan to serve.
This savory herb-flecked sauté tastes just like stuffing, but without the bread—goodbye carbs! It embraces celery’s crisp texture and distinctive flavor. Found in a decade-old issue of Fine Cooking Magazine, it intrigued us enough to include as a side dish for our Smothered Chicken with Bourbon and Miso.
One rarely thinks of cooked celery as the star of a side dish. It typically takes a back burner as a mix-in to salads, additive to soups, or an accompaniment to hot wings. But here it shines and surprises. We have now added the recipe to our favorites and plan to serve to guests, especially those who are vegetarian.
The beauty of this meatloaf and gravy is that they share several essential ingredients: mushrooms, dry sherry and garlic. While this recipe uses just ground pork and veal, if all you can get your hands on is the meatloaf mix combo, go ahead, the flavor profile won’t be too heavily altered.
Soaking the bread in the milk gives the meatloaf its tender texture. The bread should be wet but not drenched, so squeeze it gently to remove excess liquid. Then chop it all up into very small pieces. You don’t want big hunks of bread marring the perfect loaf.
This ridiculously flavorful vegetarian gravy will satisfy even the heartiest meat-eaters. Along with sherry and tomato paste, dried porcini mushrooms (available in the produce sections of large supermarkets) replicate the savory flavor of drippings. It has to be up there as one of the best gravies we’ve ever had!
*1 cup porcini soaking liquid from rehydrating above mushrooms
3 large thyme sprigs
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Rehydrate porcini mushrooms by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over them in a heat-proof bowl. Let soak 15 minutes. Drain liquid into 1 cup measure, squeezing porcinis over container to remove all liquid. Strain through a very fine sieve to remove any grit from liquid, and set aside. (Add more water if necessary to equal 1 full cup.)
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic; cook 1 minute more.
Add tomato paste; cook, stirring until color deepens, about 2 minutes.
Add sherry; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.
Add broth, strained mushroom liquid, rehydrated mushrooms and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes.
Strain again through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids (discard solids). Do not wash pan.
Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the same saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 to 2 minutes (don’t let flour brown).
Add about 1/2 cup of the hot broth, whisking to blend. Add remaining broth a bit at a time, whisking until mixture is smooth. Season with pepper.
Although summer produce season was nearing its end, we easily scored some fresh corn and zucchini to make this flavorful Spiced Chicken with Corn, Mushrooms and Zucchini. It’s a one pan meal that’s ready in a total of 45 minutes. Cooked in a skillet, the spiced chicken takes on a brick-red hue with a moderately spicy kick. (You can adjust the amount of heat by adding or eliminating the amount of cayenne.)
Here gochugaru—Korean red chile flakes—imbues this one-skillet chicken and vegetable supper with its deep, savory flavor, gentle heat and a hint of smokiness. But don’t fret if you can’t find gochugaru, just substitute ancho chile powder, regular chili powder or chipotle chile powder (or choice) for a delicious but different taste profile. Add more cayenne or eliminate it to adjust the level of heat, which is moderate as written. (Gochugaru can be found at Asian markets, well stocked supermarkets or online.)
I got carried away and pounded the chicken breasts down to a 1/4″ instead of the indicated 1/2″. Not a problem as long as the meat is not overcooked and dried out. Adjust the cooking time so that the poultry registers 160°, then move to a plate and cover with foil.
The amount of chicken we made was over 1 1/2 pounds, which when hammered down made 4 large cutlets, and therefore had to be cooked in 2 batches. Once the veggies are done, pour the accumulated chicken juices into the pan and stir to distribute.
Yes, you can make this meal with frozen corn, but you will suffer from a loss of flavor. This summer was THE BEST corn season we’ve experienced in a long time. And this last batch in particular was astoundingly sweet and juicy!
2 Tbsp. canola oil or another neutral oil, divided
8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms or a mix of mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster and/or cremini, sliced
2 to 3 Tbsp. water, plus more as needed
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts, plus dark greens for garnish
1 Tbsp. minced or finely grated fresh ginger
1 medium zucchini (8 ounces), trimmed, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
3-4 ears of corn, kernels sliced from cob
In a small bowl, combine the gochugaru, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the granulated garlic and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto both sides of the chicken, rubbing it in a little with your fingers.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the chicken to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, followed by the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the water if the pan seems dry, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the scallions and ginger and cook until they soften, about 1 minute.
Add the zucchini, corn and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add more water as needed, a couple of tablespoons at a time.
Pour any accumulated juices from the chicken into the pan with the vegetables, and then slice the chicken into strips.
Serve the vegetables with the sliced chicken on top or on the side.
Mushroom lovers unite! Not only is the pasta filled with the fleshy and edible fruit bodies of macrofungi (OK, maybe a little too scientific sounding), but the mushroom is the star of the show in the topping. Though delicious made with cremini mushrooms alone, this one-pan sauce is even more spectacular if you use a mix of mushrooms.
My inspiration recipe from Fine Cooking used cheese ravioli, but mushrooms were the name of the game for me, so I chose agnolotti. It is a type of pasta typical of the Piedmont region of Italy, made with small pieces of flattened pasta dough, folded over a filling of roasted meat or vegetables—in this case, mushrooms.
2-1/2 to 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
12 oz. cremini mushrooms (or mixed wild), sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. tomato paste
1-1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup lower-salt vegetable or chicken broth
10 oz. fresh or frozen mushroom stuffed agnolotti
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine, then spread the mushrooms out in the pan and cook, undisturbed, until well browned on one side, about 3 minutes.
Stir and continue to cook until well browned all over and any liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. (if the mushrooms are dry and the pan begins to scorch, add a drizzle of oil.) Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
Add 1 Tbs. of the remaining oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Return the mushrooms and any liquid to the pan. Add the flour, thyme, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the wine, and stir until thickened. Add the broth, and simmer until the liquid reduces to a light sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente, drain, and add to the skillet with the mushrooms. Stir to coat over low heat. Serve topped with the parsley and cheese.