Golden chicken breasts in a creamy mushroom sauce make a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Serve with steamed greens for a delicious low-carb meal that’s high in flavour.
I generally eat a well balanced diet that includes indulgences (mostly chocolate related) at frequent enough intervals to keep me from losing the will to live. However, from October last year the treat meals started to become a little too frequent. It started with our wedding in the Isle of Skye, where the accommodation package included a daily three course breakfast and six course dinner. Then there was the week in New York, and what’s the point of being in New York if you’re not going to eat your body weight in pizza, bagels and doughnuts? At that point, the Christmas season was here and there’s a reason #drydecember has never become a health craze. January is a obviously a made-up month because there’s no way we’re seven weeks into 2017… which brings us to February where the food and drink free-for-all has finally come to an end.
When it comes to “healthy diets” I don’t think a one-size-fits-all approach works. You’ve got to figure out what’s right for you. I find my body feels and works the best when I eat mostly meals low in carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean NO carbs – it just means I source them predominantly from vegetables instead of sugar, bread and pasta. It also doesn’t mean I never eat burgers or cake or spaghetti. I’m not a fan of any diet that completely prohibits specific foods – I start obsessing over whatever I can’t have and end up bingeing on it. It’s much healthier for me to eat that chocolate chip cookie, but to make sure it’s only once a week, not once a day.
It definitely helps that Mischa and I are on the same page when it comes to how we eat. This month he’s been trialling a LCHF (low-carb, high fat) diet to support his Ironman training, which means I’ve been having fun coming up with recipes full of butter, cheese and meat. This one pan dish of chicken in creamy mushrooms has quickly become a favourite. Serve this with some steamed broccoli and courgettes and it won’t even feel like you’re eating a low-carb meal. Of course it would also be amazing on a pile of fettuccine, so if you want to live your best pasta life I won’t stand in your way.
- The cream can be subbed with sour cream, unsweetened greek yoghurt, or coconut cream for a dairy-free alternative.
- If making this recipe as part of a LCHF diet, make sure you use a stock without added sugars. If you’re in the UK – this Truefoods one is great.
- Mushrooms are sneaky little critters who will leak their mushroom water into your sauce if you don’t brown them well first. To make sure your sauce is as creamy as possible, cook them until golden before you add the stock.
- 2-3 boneless chicken breasts
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 T olive oil
- 1.5 T butter
- 1/2 an onion finely diced
- 4 rashers of streaky bacon diced
- 300 g button mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
- 1 t thyme
- 150 ml chicken stock
- 100 ml cream
- 1/2 c fresh parsley roughly chopped
Place chicken breasts on a large chopping board and cover with a sheet of cling film. Pound chicken with a rolling pin to flatten. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Heat frying pan over a medium heat, add olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
Place chicken in pan (skin side down if using skin-on breasts), cook for 4 minutes until golden, then flip and cook the other side for another 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover in foil to keep warm.
Add another half tablespoon of butter to the pan, and when melted add the onion and bacon. Fry until onion is translucent and bacon is golden, then add mushrooms, garlic and thyme.
When mushrooms are golden brown, stir in chicken stock, being sure to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the cream.
Simmer for a further 5-7 minutes until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency. Return the chicken to the pan (including any juices), cover, and simmer for a further 5 minutes. If the sauce reduces too far, add another dash of stock or cream.
Check the chicken is cooked through, remove from the heat, stir fresh parsley through the sauce and serve with your choice of sides.