Pasta...Who doesn't love it? Creamy pasta? Even better. Creamy pasta with chicken? Hello Tuesday night dinner!
Here's what we need:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Let's start with the chicken. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, use that and save yourself a step.
You must rinse and dry your chicken prior to putting it into the hot skillet. Season it up on one side with a good pinch of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
O.K. That's a lot of salt on that middle piece. I was trying to take a pic and salt the chicken at the same time. I spread it around to the other pieces. Really, I did! If you touch the chicken, as I did, wash your hands with soap before touching anything else.
Now, get yourself a 12 inch, deep skillet. Heat it up over medium/high heat, and add 1 Tbls olive oil and 2 Tbls butter. The butter helps to brown the chicken, and the olive oil raises the smoking point so the butter won't burn.
See how the butter is brown, not burned? That will add some good flavor.
Take another look.
Swirl the oil/butter around in the pan. Add the chicken, seasoned side down, into the hot skillet.
Because chicken doesn't have a lot of flavor, we have to give it some.
So, season up the other side with more salt and pepper.
We're going for brown here, not done. After about 5 minutes, pick up a piece and check it for color. It should be golden brown. Brown food tastes good.
Flip over the chicken pieces when brown.
Can you see how the chicken is raw? That's good. The browning will give it flavor. The oven will make it tender.
When both sides are brown, place them in an oven proof dish, cover with foil, and put them in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. NO longer! Take the chicken out of the oven, put it on a cutting board, cover it with foil or a bowl, and let it rest while you finish off your dish. Don't worry about it getting cold. It will reheat in the pasta.
O.K. Chicken is in the oven. Get a pasta pot on the stove. Season up the water with a great big handful of Kosher salt. It should taste like the sea.
One of the reasons I didn't just stick the skillet in the oven to finish the chicken is because I want all the flavor left in the bottom of the skillet to flavor my sauce. That's good stuff right there.
Chop up an onion, any color, add a pinch of salt, and sauté over medium heat. If you season as you go along, your food will taste well seasoned. If you just add salt at the end, your food just tastes salty.
When the onions are translucent and soft, throw in the sliced Cremini (baby bella) mushrooms.
Add a pinch of Kosher salt and some fresh ground pepper.
Turn the heat up to medium/high. We want these babies to get brown. Mushrooms have a huge water content, which you need to get out.
Give them a good stir. While your mushrooms hang out. Prep the garlic.
Take the flat blade of your chef knife, put it on top of the garlic clove, and give it a whack.
The peel will come right off. Mince it up and throw it on the browned mushrooms.
Take about 5 stems fresh Thyme and peel off the leaves, and toss them into the skillet. If you don't have any fresh thyme, use dry. No dry thyme? Use something green from the pantry;
Herbes de Provence, Italian seasoning, etc.
See how brown the mushrooms are? That's what you want. Caramelization = flavor.
Once all the liquid from the mushrooms has cooked out, it's time to add the sherry. No sherry? Use white wine. Turn off the flame while pouring so you don't set your hair on fire. yep. It's happened.
After the sherry is safely in the skillet, turn on the heat to medium/high. Cook it out.
Now, sprinkle the flour over the top of the mushroom mixture.
Stir it in.
When the flour is completely incorporated...
Pour in the broth. Start with a cup, and add more as needed to make a creamy sauce.
Stir it in. If you have truffle butter, add it now. If you don't have any, leave it out.
Stir it in. Then add one can cream of mushroom soup. If you don't have any? Leave it out.
Stir. Pour in 1/4 cup heavy cream. Don't have any? Leave it out. Got some sour cream? Use 1/2 cup of that. YUM!
Taste. Re-season if necessary.
Drain your cooked pasta, (Linguine, fettucine, spaghetti, etc), and put it right in the skillet with the sauce. Toss with tongs. I added a handful of frozen peas, just because I like them.
Chop up the chicken and add it to the skillet. Finish it off with some fresh chopped parsley and chives.
I served this with sourdough toasts and a salad with baby lettuce, pears, cambozola cheese, & toasted walnuts in a balsamic vinaigrette.
This whole dinner comes together in under an hour.
1 lb long pasta
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 Tbls butter
1 Tbls olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken or beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbls truffle butter (optional)
1/3 cup sherry
2 Tbls flour
5 sprigs fresh thyme
Fresh parsley and chopped scallions for garnish
Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Rinse, dry, and season chicken with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Heat up a large, deep skillet over medium/high heat.
- Add 1 Tbls olive oil and 2 Tbls butter.
- Add the chicken, seasoned side down, into the hot skillet.
- Flip the chicken pieces over when brown.
- When both sides are brown, place them in an oven proof dish, cover with foil, and put them in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board and cover with foil.
- Chop up an onion, any color, add a pinch of salt, and sauté over medium heat.
- When the onions are translucent and soft, add the sliced Cremini (baby bella) mushrooms to the skillet. Add a pinch of Kosher salt and some fresh ground pepper. Turn the heat up to medium/high.
- Add 3 cloves minced garlic when the mushrooms are brown and the liquid has cooked out.
- Add sherry off flame. Turn heat back on to med/high. Cook until absorbed.
- Sprinkle with flour. Stir until incorporated.
- Add broth. Stir until creamy.
- Stir in truffle butter, cream of mushroom soup, and heavy cream.
- Cook and drain pasta. Add to skillet.
- Chop chicken and add to skillet.
- Toss with tongs.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and scallions.