This recipe for Chicken and Mushroom Pasta with Balsamic Cream Sauce is in my collection of tried and true. It’s something I can make easily on a weeknight and it’s also fancy enough to serve to guests. Grilled chicken sits on top of a light and creamy balsamic sauce with mushrooms. Plated with orzo pasta and a light salad.
We don’t eat out that frequently, but I definitely do tend to lack organization when it comes to meal planning. And I have a habit of making new recipes rather than repeating tried and true winners – which I guess is why I began Oat&Sesame – to share with you this endless obsession in recipe curation.
To try to stay organized and for easy grocery lists, I use a recipe app on my iPad. It’s called Paprika and I’m its biggest fan.
It allows me to take my kitchen with me wherever I travel. It’s perfect for bringing recipes to family gatherings or if I don’t have time to write a list, I can just take it with me to the grocery store and generate one quickly from my recipe favorites. You can check out the Paprika app in iTunes.
TIPS for Making Chicken and Mushroom Pasta:
- When I make this dish, I grill my chicken on my cast iron stovetop griddle because I love the fancy grill marks it makes!
- The only thing I insist on is that you cut the chicken on an angle. Whenever my husband makes this he cuts the chicken all crazy. A dish that is not plated well just won’t taste as good!
- Short on time, buy your mushrooms pre-sliced and cook your chicken the day before!
- The orzo can be replaced with any pasta or grain or none at all.
The mushrooms and thyme give this recipe a hearty and rustic flavor. The sauce is both rich and tangy from the cream and balsamic. It’s truly a favorite. And if you’re vegetarian, you could serve the mushrooms and sauce over some polenta cakes like these and it’s amazing.
A creamy balsamic sauce with thyme over grilled chicken and orzo pasta.
- 1/2 pound orzo pasta or other grain of choice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 boneless skinless organic chicken breasts or cutlets, 6 ounces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 36 small mushrooms stems removed & sliced (use a variety of cremini, baby portobello mushrooms, shiitake and/or white)
- 3 large cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or rice flour for gluten-free option
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook the orzo pasta or whatever grain you choose to make according to package instructions.
Preheat a skillet or stove-top griddle over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil to coat pan/griddle. (Another option is to bake the chicken). Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. I do this by placing them one by one in a large ziploc and use my fist to pound them evenly or just buy thin cutlets instead of breasts. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Place cooked chicken in large sheet of foil and wrap tight to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. You can put the oven on low and keep it warmly wrapped in the foil – which is great make-ahead step if you’re serving it for a dinner party.
Use the same skillet (or a new skillet if you’ve used a griddle) and add the butter directly to it after removing the chicken. Once the butter melts add the mushrooms and brown stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes.
As soon as the mushroom brown, season with salt and pepper then add the garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook for another 2-3 minutes as the shallots soften.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes. (You’re making a roux. The texture should get pasty.)
Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat to high and simmer for about 4-5 minutes as the sauce thickens. Be patient. It will thicken. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed.
When you’re ready to serve, slice your chicken on an angle to create strips. Plate the orzo, top with mushroom sauce, add your chicken, more sauce and finally sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with a simple side salad.
This recipe was originally sourced from FoodNetwork.com – Rachel Ray.
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