Merlot Mushroom Chicken is a quick and easy entree for those busy nights. It may be fast to make, but it does not lack for flavor. The gravy is rich and thick, the perfect complement for mild white chicken breasts.
I have designed this recipe to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. However, truth be told, I prefer skin-on. The skin helps keep them moist. Feel free to substitute. You may also substitute chicken thighs. However, they will need a longer time during the simmering process since they are not as tender as chicken breasts.
Merlot Mushroom Chicken Recipe
8 ounces white button mushrooms, stem ends trimmed, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup fine-minced onions
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup (1.87 mL bottle) merlot wine (may substitute additional chicken broth – see Notes)
1 cup strong chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
3 chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon table salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup (about) all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons butter, divided use
1 Tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
Chopped chives or parsley for garnish, optional
Prep the ingredients first as this recipe goes together fairly quickly. Slice the mushrooms and mince the onions. Toss these in the same bowl, since they will be used at the same time. Press the garlic into a small condiment bowl. Measure the wine and chicken broth. Keep them separate. Whisk the egg yolk into the sour cream.
Pat the chicken breast halves dry with paper towels. Whisk together the salt, poultry seasoning, onion powder, basil, rosemary, paprika, and pepper. Sprinkle the spice blend evenly over both sides of the chicken. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the seasoned chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.
Place a large, deep, hard-anodized skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the butter plus the olive oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides, turning only once. (More cooking is to come, so don’t over-cook it.) Remove the chicken to a platter using a slotted spoon.
To the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, mushrooms, and minced onions. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Stir-fry until the mushrooms begin to brown and lose their moisture. Add the garlic, and stir for 30 seconds. Carefully pour in the merlot wine. Continue to cook while stirring until the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the chicken broth, and return to a gentle boil. Return the chicken breasts to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken to the platter. Stir in the sour cream mixture, whisking and stirring until the gravy thickens. Taste and add salt, if needed. (If the gravy is too thick, stir in a little heavy cream or milk to thin it.) Return the chicken to the gravy, turning to coat.
Slice the chicken breasts into 1-inch thicknesses and sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley to serve. I like steamed broccoli and Garlic Cheese Hasselback Potatoes as sides for Merlot Mushroom Chicken.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
• Since I’m not a wine-drinker, I buy the small 4-packs of single serving bottles to keep on hand for cooking. Each 1.87 mL bottle contains just shy of 1 cup, which is fine for most 1-cup recipes.