I am a huge fan of cream-based dishes, providing they are used in the correct way. This creamy chicken and mushroom dish is something that my cousin in Italy makes and knows is one of my absolute favourite meals! This means, almost every time I go round there for lunch, this is one of the recipes she prepares and she always makes extra just for me.
I first made this myself when I was living in Padova during my Erasmus year (2012 - where has time gone?!). I remember smoking out the kitchen and my chicken being undercooked as I didn’t flatten it out first but, we got there eventually. Since then, I have vastly improved my skills and I now am able to cook the chicken without causing any smoke alarms to go off and I have also added my own little spin on the recipe to make it my own.
I swing between using chicken breasts or chicken thighs, on the one hand, the chicken thighs are less likely to dry out, but they are pretty small which means trying to fit more chicken in a pan. Therefore, I find that the breasts are easier to work with and once you have sliced them into cutlets, there is less chance for them to overcook and end up dry.
With the mushrooms, you can use any kind you can get hold of, in fact, my cousin used tinned mushrooms so really there are no rules here! The more the merrier and you can use a mix of tinned or fresh, or whichever mushrooms you like! The addition of the porcini mushrooms adds an extra layer of flavour to the meal, and by soaking them in water, you end up with a beautiful porcini mushroom stock which can then be used for a separate meal. In Italy, I would also normally use panna di cucina which, unless you go to an Italian deli, doesn’t exist here in the UK, so I find double cream works just as well. If you want to make the meal lighter, then go ahead and use single cream!
Serve this dish with some boiled new potatoes, mash or some simple greens, but I guarantee you will be making this again and again and again.
Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
4 Chicken breasts or 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
250g Mushrooms, wiped and sliced
15g Dried porcini
2 Tbsp Plain flour
330ml Double cream
Small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Pour boiling water over your dried porcini to rehydrate them, and set aside whilst you prepare your chicken.
Cut your chicken breasts into 2-3 thin cutlets, then place between 2 sheets of parchment paper and bash using either a meat mallet or rolling pin so they are nice and thin.
Place your flour in a bowl, season each side of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and coat both sides in the flour, shake off any excess and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat roughly 2cm of olive oil on medium-high. Once hot, add the chicken cutlets and fry for 4-5 minutes per side until golden and crispy. If your oil gets too hot, reduce the heat and top up the oil where necessary. Remove once ready and set aside on a clean plate.
In the same pan, add some extra oil, increase the heat to high and add your mushrooms. Do this in batches if necessary as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape all the goodness from the chicken that has been left on the bottom of the pan, this will add extra flavour and also help thicken up the sauce later on!
Fry the mushrooms for around 5-7 minutes until they have reduced and have a nice char on them. If they release any liquid ensure this has been completely evaporated. Remove the porcini from the boiling water and squeeze off any excess liquid, add straight to the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the cream and stir to combine with the mushrooms before sliding the chicken back in. Ensure every piece of chicken is covered in cream and mushrooms. Simmer for another 5 minutes on low to allow the cream the thicken. Sprinkle over some parsley and serve.