Thursday, August 7, 2014

Smothered chicken

Hello, everyone!  As you probably know by now, I love chicken.  It is probably my favorite proteins, yet, every time I go to cook it, my mind goes blank.  There are a million ways to cook chicken, and I can't think of one.  However, this smothered chicken is so easy, and such a crowd pleaser every time I make it, that I probably make it more often than I should!
This chicken is pretty adaptable, too!  I love mushrooms, so I usually do mine with a honey mustard sauce, smothered in mushrooms and cheese.  My husband, on the other hand, doesn't care for honey mustard or mushrooms.  What's a person to do???  Adapt!  I make my husbands with BBQ sauce, bacon and cheese!
Interested?  I thought so.  

Here's your grocery list:

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

~ 2 Tbs sauce of choice (for today's demonstration, I'm using honey mustard)
Topping of choice (again, for today, its 1/2 C mushrooms)

1/2 C cheese of choice (I like a Monterey Jack cheese blend)

1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Vegetable oil
1/2 Tbs butter

Start off by preheating your oven to 425*, and lightly pounding out your chicken breasts, just so they're the same thickness all of the way through.  This helps to ensure even cooking.  As you can see, I like to pound my chicken out in a baggie, so that chicken juices aren't flying all around the kitchen.  Contain the mess!!

I do love boneless skinless chicken, but I hate that tendon that runs in it.  So, I always cut it out.  Its easy enough to do, just gently and slowly cut along the tendon, and you'll cut a smallish notch out of the upper corner of the breast.  You don't have to do this if you don't want to, I just don't like to have it on my chicken.

Once your chicken is pounded out, season each side of it, and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight (or, you can season your chicken, and put it into the freezer at this point.  That way, you're a few steps ahead to make an amazing a quick supper later!)    

As I always say, there are always more than one way to cook something.  When sauteing mushrooms, I like to start them off in a hot pan, with no oil, or salt.  I cook them like this for about three minutes, stirring them around almost constantly.  After three minutes, I put in a pat of butter, and a sprinkling of salt, and cook them for another two minutes.  You want them to be slightly underdone at this point, because they're going to go into the oven in a minute, to finish off.

I decided I'd multitask here, and cook up some home fries while I was cooking my chicken.  I put about 1 tsp of vegetable oil in the pan, over medium heat, and seared my chicken on one side, for five minutes, flipped it over, and cooked for another five minutes.  This is what it will look like when its finished:

You can see that I put aluminum foil on my baking sheet.  This is for a super easy clean-up, you'll see in a minute!
Now spread your sauce of choice over your chicken breast, again, I went with the honey mustard option, but this is also where I put the BBQ sauce on for my husband:
Next, layer on the cooked mushrooms (and/or bacon):
Now, you'll want to put on just enough cheese to make you hesitate with the fear you've put on too much, then think, "Nah, no such thing as too much cheese, right??  ....right???"
Now, pop that bad boy into the oven for about ten minutes and this is what you will be rewarded with!  And now, you can see why having the aluminium foil down will be a huge time saver! 

This supper really is so easy, and takes about 35 minutes, start to finish.  The chicken is juicy, and these flavors really go well together.  It's really a crowd pleaser!  Let me know if you try it, and how you like it!