This flavorful chicken mushroom recipe is an easy weeknight meal. Tender pieces of lean white meat are lightly breaded, seared until golden brown, then simmered in a creamy sauce with melted gruyere cheese on top.
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Don’t settle for another boring dinner! Grab your skillet, and let’s get to work. The combination of ingredients is a perfect pairing as the savory flavor compounds in the fungi naturally enhance the taste of the chicken. After searing, we’ll use all those flavorful pan drippings to make a delicious sauce.
Aromatic caramelized onions add a hint of sweetness as they cook alongside thick slices of mushrooms and freshly chopped herbs. Chicken stock and heavy cream simmer to make a velvety sauce that clings to the meat. Serve with a nice glass of wine, crispy potatoes, and greens for a complete gourmet meal.
Flatten the meat
I use boneless skinless chicken breasts because it’s very lean and cooks quickly in the skillet. Look for pieces 6 to 8 ounces in size. If any larger or thicker than 1-inch, you may want to cut them in half horizontally to give four total cutlets.
Chicken breasts are thicker on one side and taper down on the other. This shape causes issues with uneven cooking. A quick solution is to use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound and flatten to an even thickness, about a ½-inch.
Dredge with flour
This recipe starts similar to a scallopini, where the chicken is seasoned then dredged in flour to create a light crust on the surface. I also do this when making Italian chicken marsala for more contrast in texture. When cooked, the wheat sticks to the meat and dries out the exterior for better color and flavor development. Try to shake off excess flour, as it can burn in the pan.
Pan-fry for better texture
The coated chicken is pan-fried in hot olive oil until a golden-brown crust appears, then flipped and finished over low heat to gently cook through. This method prevents the chicken from drying out. The proteins in the flour coating harden when pan-fried, creating a more interesting texture on the outside.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you can use cassava flour or omit it altogether.
Fond adds flavor
After pan-frying the chicken, there will be flavorful browned bits called fond. Use the same pan to make the sauce, don’t wash it off! Caramelize the onions in the butter, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift off the fond. Shallots, garlic, rosemary, and thyme add beautiful aromatics.
If you want to use dried herbs, use a third of the amount of fresh. Herbs de Provence can be substituted as the lavender add lovely floral notes.
Cremini mushrooms are my top choice for the sauce. They have a deep savory flavor when cooked and are firmer. They hold their structure better when simmered compared to White Button mushrooms that significantly shrink down.
Cooking the mushrooms
I season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, which helps draw out the moisture and absorb the salty flavor. However, I also find that it needs more dimension to make the savory notes pop. Some soy sauce with natural glutamates and pungent vinegar does the trick!
The mushrooms simmer with chicken stock and heavy whipping cream until thickened. I find that they tighten up more as they cool down. Warm the chicken in the pan, and top it with the mushroom sauce.
Finish it with cheese
To meld all the flavors of the chicken and mushroom dish together, top with freshly grated cheese. I prefer gruyere. It’s a Swiss-type of cheese with a nutty and slightly sweet note. Emmental, Jarlsberg, or Raclette are good substitutes. Grated parmesan or pecorino romano adds a more Italian flavor.
Serve this with
Brown mushrooms with a more sturdy texture and intense flavors like Cremini or Baby Bella. Add in dried Porcini or Shiitake mushrooms for a deeper savory taste along with the fresh varieties.
It’s best to cook the chicken separately to keep it juicy and tender. Then add it back to the pan to warm up in the mushroom sauce.
Yes, to thicken the sauce, you can add a cornstarch or arrowroot powder slurry. The ingredients make a similar consistency to homemade gravy. Combine 1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Alternatively, try 2 ½ teaspoons arrowroot powder with 5 teaspoons water. Add this in after the chicken stock has reduced to about 1 cup. Whisk until the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.
How does the sauce thicken?
The mushroom sauce uses chicken stock and heavy whipping cream as the base. The reduction gently simmers, helping to evaporate the water from the ingredients. The milk solids and fat in the cream concentrate, creating a thicker consistency. This process allows you to control the texture without extra thickening agents like flour or cornstarch.
Chicken and Mushroom
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds total
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided, plus more for seasoning
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow onion, halved, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- ¼ cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms or brown, ½-inch thick slices, about 4 cups sliced
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 ½ cup unsalted chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup shredded gruyere, swiss, or parmesan cheese
- Place one of the chicken pieces between two plastic sheets or in a large plastic bag. Flatten to an even thickness, about ½-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining piecesAlternatively, if using two very thick pieces, bigger than 1-inch thick and heavier than 8 ounces, cut in half horizontally to create four total cutlets.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
- Lightly season each side of chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, carefully add the chicken to the pan, presentation side down. Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Flip and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), about 4 to 6 minutes. Fry in batches if needed. Transfer to a clean plate, loosely tent with foil to keep warm.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter. Add the onions, sauté until lightly golden brown and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Constantly stir to ensure the garlic does not brown.
- Add the mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sauté until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vinegar and soy sauce, cook until the vinegar smell is not as strong, about 1 minute.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the chicken stock. Cook until the sauce reduces by half (about ¾ cup), about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the cream. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes—season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, turn to coat and gently simmer until warmed through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with cheese, top with mushroom sauce and black pepper.
- Vinegar Substitutes: Use white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos. Use gluten-free flour or cassava flour to dredge the chicken, or skip that step.
- Storing: Cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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