I would guess that “Easy Chicken Recipe” is probably one of the top Google searches.
We all buy packages of chicken in the store and bring them home completely uninspired. Happens to me all the time.
Might I suggest a lovely Baked Chicken with Mushroom and Wine Sauce?
You won’t believe how easy this recipe is. And the sauce? If you’re like me, you’ll want to pick up some crusty bread to soak up the extra sauce. Just a suggestion from the Carb Council.
Here’s what you need:
Chicken, Red Bell Pepper, Mushrooms, Cream of Mushroom Soup*, White Wine, Olive Oil, Dried Thyme, Dried Rubbed Sage, Rice, Salt & Pepper.
*I have issues about cooking with soup. It’s just one of my many endearing weirdnesses. Also apparently is making up words like weirdnesses. I’m a pretty low salt person and condensed soups tend to be teeming with salt and MSG. I used to insist on making my own white sauce (which is not at all difficult) instead of using soup. While I’m still firmly in the camp of making my own sauce for most things, let’s be honest here and admit that sometimes it is easier just to open up a dang can. Happily, Campbell’s makes Healthy Request which is lower in sodium for weird people like me. Grab a can of whatever makes you happy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Season boneless, skinless chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper.
Heat about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. If you have a pan with a lid that is oven-proof, great. If not, once the chicken breasts have browned, simply move them to a baking dish (something like a 9×13 glass Pyrex will work nicely) and cover with foil.
When the oil is fairly hot but not smoking, place the chicken seasoned side down and salt & pepper the other side. Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side until nice and golden brown.
Here is a good lesson in browning chicken: In the photo above, notice how the chicken in the front is nicely browned with an even coating? Notice how the chicken above it to the right is looking less browned and a little raggedy? This is the lesson about NOT moving meat around in the pan while you are trying to get it to brown. If you have problems with meat sticking and ripping apart (like the one on the upper right), chances are it is not ready to turn. The whole point of browning meat is to put a nice crust or sear on the outside to hold in the juices and add flavor. If you’re constantly peeking and moving it around in the pan, it won’t brown and your chicken will stick and rip apart. If you try to lift it and it looks like it is sticking, give it a minute or two longer to cook and see how easily it turns once properly browned.
Okay, end of sermon. Brown the chicken on both sides and then set aside on a plate or baking dish. Don’t worry that the chicken is not fully cooked as it will continue to bake in the oven with the sauce.
While the chicken cooks (or before you begin if you’re more organized than me), clean and slice up 1/2 pound of mushrooms
and chop up 1/2 of a large red bell pepper.
Lower the heat on the pan you used to cook the chicken and add 1 can of Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup.
Be careful as this might splatter a bit when it hits the hot oil.
Now, fill up the empty soup can with white wine and add it to the sauce.
Stir the soup and wine together to get rid of any lumps and also to scrape up any nice brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped red bell pepper and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of dried thyme and crushed or rubbed sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir all the sauce ingredients together, increase the heat on the pan to medium, and bring the sauce to a boil.
If you’re using an oven-safe pan, put the chicken breasts back into the pan and nestle them down into the sauce.
If you’re using a baking pan, carefully pour the sauce over and around the chicken breasts. Cover with a lid or foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, turn the chicken over in the sauce to coat the other side and continue to bake UNCOVERED for an additional 25 minutes.
Serve over cooked rice with a garnish of parsley if you feel the need to be fancy.
Simple and easy enough for any night of the week. Fancy and tasty enough for the relatives.
Here’s the recipe: