Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms

It’s been awhile since I’ve added a new chicken recipe to my dinner repertoire.

But chicken is such an easy weeknight choice.

I always keep a few pounds of frozen chicken in the freezer for dinner emergencies.

It can be baked from frozen, or defrosted and quickly added to curries, stir fries, pasta dishes, or anything, really! You can even plop frozen chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water, cook until no longer pink, and then shred the meat for easy salad mix-ins or protein for wraps.

Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms

For this recipe, you better bet I utilized my frozen chicken stash.

Once the chicken is defrosted, this meal comes together in just 45 minutes.

Simply dredge the chicken in flour, pan sear until golden, toss in some mushrooms and garlic, then balsamic, broth, and herbs. Cook down into a sauce & finish with a pat of butter.

Easy. Delicious. Yummy.

This meal is comfort food in one pan.

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms - by dietitian Erica Julson

Print
Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 12 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.

  2. Spread the flour out on a large plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. One at a time, dip the chicken breasts in the flour, turning to coat. Shake lightly to remove any excess, then set the chicken breast aside on a clean plate. Repeat with all 4 chicken breasts.

  3. Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan, and cook on one side for about 6 minutes, until nicely golden brown. 

  4. Turn the chicken breasts over and add the garlic cloves and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute the mushrooms and garlic while they cook.

  5. Add the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, bay leaf, and thyme to the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, turning the chicken breasts halfway through. 

  6. Uncover the pan and remove the chicken breasts to a plate. You can lightly tent them with foil to keep them warm.

  7. Let the balsamic-mushroom sauce continue to cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or so, until reduced to a sauce consistency. Stir in the butter and cook for another 2 minutes or so until melted and combined with the rest of the sauce. 

  8. Remove the bay leaf, then plate each chicken breast and spoon the mushroom sauce over the top. Enjoy!

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Spice Rub Roasted Chicken

Spice Rub Roasted Chicken

Spice rubs and chicken were just born for each other.

Especially when grilled or roasted on high heat.

The spices takes on a deliciously smoky accent, and the meat is piping hot and succulently juicy.

(Bonus points if you left the skin on & get to enjoy all that crispy goodness).

Spice Rub Roasted Chicken

You’ve seen me do spice-rub baked chicken breasts, which I love for their ease and simplicity, but a whole bird slathered in rub & roasted on high heat?

That’s a whole new experience.

Spice Rub Roasted Chicken stuffed with lemon and shallot

There are a few keys to deliciously juicy spice-rub chicken.

  1. The heat has to start out lower. Typically, I blast my roasted chickens on high heat to get that extra crispy golden skin. But when you’ve covered the bird with a spice rub, you’ve got be careful not to burn those spices. Since chickens take awhile to cook, it’s best to start out on low heat while the tender flesh cooks.
  2. Crank up the heat at the end. Once the bird is almost done, say, after an hour or so in the oven, then you can turn up the heat and let the skin crisp up and brown the spices a little.
  3. Stuff the cavity with aromatics. Since we aren’t going for the same cracklin skin that an unseasoned bird has, we can stuff that cavity of the bird until it’s overflowing. My favorites are lemon and shallot, which impart a slight onion & citrus flavor to the meat as they cook. I avoid stuffing the cavity on my basic roasted chickens, since the steam from the vegetables can hinder the crisping of the chicken skin, but I’m not worried about that w. my spice rubbed chicken.
  4. Let it rest after cooking. Once the bird reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees, let it rest out of the oven for a bit before you slice into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, instead of spilling out all over your cutting board.

Spice Rub Roasted Chicken with Mustard Chili Rub

Once the bird is done, serve it with some delicious sides.

Grilled Zucchini with Mint, Lemon, & Feta, World’s Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or a Simple Side Salad all go great 🙂

 

Print
Spice Rub Roasted Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 40 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 1/4 lb fryer chicken
  • 2 small lemons, quartered
  • 1 large shallot, quartered
  • olive oil, for seasoning
For the spice rub:
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Mix together all of the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

  3. Remove the chicken from any packaging it might be in, and discard any of the innards that might be in the cavity. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and set on a roasting rack inside of a roasting pan. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and rub all over with your hands.

  4. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon and shallot, then sprinkle the chicken all over with the spice rub. Also use your fingers to separate the chicken skin from the breast area, and rub some of the spice rub under the skin. Use as much or as little of the rub as you want, to taste, probably around 1/4 cup. If you don't use all of the rub, you can reserve the extra for another use, if desired.

  5. Place the roasting pan in the oven, and let the chicken roast for about 1 hour. Increase the heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and roast for another 30 minutes or so, or until the skin is crispy and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's not quite there yet after the 90 minutes, continue cooking until it reaches the proper temperature.

  6. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

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Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken | www.ericajulson.com

Thai curry is one of the most comforting, warming dishes you can make.

The spicy chile and herbs are balanced by the creamy cooling coconut milk, and when spooned over tender white rice, you’ve got one of my favorite meals in bowl.

There are actually three common “colors” of curry out there:

  1. Red Curry
  2. Green Curry
  3. Yellow Curry

Red curry paste, the variety used in this recipe, is made with dried red chiles, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, salt, galangal (a type of Thai ginger), kaffir lime, and sometimes shrimp paste.

Green curry contains basically the same ingredients, except it uses green chiles instead of red, plus a pop of coriander, cumin, and turmeric. If you’re looking for a green curry recipe, I’ve got an excellent one here

Yellow curry is the most mild and is actually vegetarian! It leads with a strong lemongrass flavor, and doesn’t use any shrimp paste.

Honestly, they are ALL delicious, but I thought the red paste would pair best with the sweet butternut squash I had sitting on my counter, so that’s where this recipe went!

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken | www.ericajulson.com

Curries are SUPER simple to make if you’re using jarred curry paste.

Simply sauté the paste in some oil, add some veggies, coconut milk, and protein of your choice, and let it simmer.

Top it off with fresh lime juice & herbs, and you’ve got a delicious meal ready in no time.

Honestly, if you use pre-cooked chicken, chickpeas, or tofu, this meal would be ready in under 30 minutes.

If you choose to poach some chicken first, it’ll take a little bit longer, but the whole thing will still be done in about an hour.

The curry paste adds so so much flavor, that you can keep the rest of the ingredients pretty basic. in fact, I really only used butternut squash and chicken in this recipe, and it was great!

Feel free to experiment with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Sweet potatoes, onions, or chickpeas would also be wonderful in this dish.

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken | www.ericajulson.com

 

Print
Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (~3 small)
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice or other long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons organic canola or other oil of choice
  • 2-4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (amount used depends on the spiciness of your brand)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (3/4 inch cubes)
  • 1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari if gluten free
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 1/3 cup julienned fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. [Exact time will vary, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.] When done, use tongs to remove the chicken to a plate & set aside to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, place the rice and 4 cups of water in a rice cooker or small lidded pot. Cook in the rice cooker or according to package instructions until done. Set aside for later. 

  3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, use your fingers to shred it into bite sized pieces and set aside. 

  4. Next, start the curry. In a large enameled cast iron dutch oven, heat the two tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and butternut squash and cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. I used 4 tablespoons of the Thai Kitchen curry paste because it was somewhat bland... if you use a spicier brand like Mae Ploy, you'll probably only need 2 tablespoons.

  5. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and water to the dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. 

  6. Once the squash is tender, stir in 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes, until warmed through.

  7. Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice, basil, and cilantro. Add a scoop of white rice to each serving bowl, and spoon the warm curry over top. Enjoy!

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