Looking for something for dinner tonight? These chicken thighs with mushrooms, are a savory dish that I like to make fairly often. With minimal prep, you have a fancy looking meal that will impress your guests, but only has five ingredients! It’s originally from the renowned French chef Jacques Pépin, and to me, this dish is really quintessentially French….savory and rich and slightly decadent. With a simple meat and a vegetable, cooked in one pan, and all served up in a small portion so you don’t feel like a total pig after eating it. Even though I’m eating chicken skin, I like to convince myself that this “paleo” meal is somewhat good for me…once in a while. Plus you don’t even use any oil! Only the fat from the chicken skin! Let me be, ok?!
Chicken thighs with skin on (1-2 per person-usually 2)
2 Pint packages of fresh mushrooms (comes out to about 3-4 cups once chopped and this makes enough mushrooms for probably 6 people
1 medium yellow onion (diced)
3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1/3 cup white whine
salt and pepper
So I start with some organic chicken thighs. I suppose you could substitute chicken breasts if you’re crazy and don’t like dark meat, chicken skin, or fat, but this will definitely compromise the deliciousness of this dish, albeit it a healthier alternative.
On the skin side of the thighs, cut a slash on both sides of the bone. Next liberally sprinkle both sides with some salt and pepper.
Then, place the thighs skin side down into an unheated non-stick skillet. Turn the heat to high.
When your hear the sizzling, turn the heat down to medium and move the chicken around a bit to keep it from sticking to the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 18 minutes. You do need to check it often to make sure the skin isn’t sticking. This is a little challenging. That skin starts to caramelize and really wants to stick, so you have to be careful and gentle so you don’t lose that golden crispy goodness, as that could spell disaster for this dish. If the skin is browning too quickly, turn the heat lower and just keep checking. Once the thighs are done to your desired crispiness, take them out of the pan and set aside. Jacques suggests keeping them in a warm oven while you make the mushrooms.
Next, pour out most of the chicken fat, leaving about 2 Tbsp. of it still in the skillet. I have accidentally poured it all out on more than one occasion and have had to throw a little olive oil in there and its been ok so no worries if that happens to you! Turn the heat to high and put the minced garlic and diced onions in the skillet.
Sauté for a minute and add the mushrooms.
I will also confess that the skillet that I like to make the chicken in (this Le Creuset below)
can be too small for the amount of mushrooms here, so I have had to do a quick switcheroo to a larger one at this point. It pains me to lose the chicken fat coated pan here, but it’s definitely better than having too small of a pan. Choose your original skillet wisely!
I sauté the mushroom mixture for about 5-10 minutes. I like my mushrooms to be a little softer than the original recipe wants them to be. I sprinkle in some more salt and pepper to taste and add the 1/3 cup of white wine (I have also used Rosé) Let that reduce for one more minute and they are ready to go!
Spoon the mushrooms out onto each person’s plate and top with a chicken thigh or two. The hardest part in this whole recipe is the mushroom chopping, and if that’s the hardest thing, then this is pretty easy to me. Like I said, this is one of my favorite dishes, and it looks so fancy that your friends will think you went to culinary school!