Creamy, rich and indulgent. Easy comfort food that takes just 30 minutes to make, the perfect mid-week dinner. The key to making a great chicken with creamy mushrooms is cooking the chicken breasts to golden brown and the mushrooms brown and nutty.
Can't get enough of chicken? Try my healthy, lemony and juicy Oven Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs recipe using boneless and skinless chicken thighs. For crispy chicken lovers, try this crispy Panko Chicken Schnitzel recipe.
Alright, let's get to it.
- Mushrooms I prefer chestnut mushrooms as they're deeper in flavour and have a lovely nutty taste. However, any mushrooms will work great with this recipe.
- Baby spinach is a convenient choice, can substitute with English spinach.
- Heavy cream or thickened cream is used rather than pouring/light cream. Heavy cream will create a thicker sauce that catches onto the chicken, mushrooms and spinach. Making every bite creamy and tasty!
Here is how you make it
Chicken breast is preferred when making this chicken with creamy mushrooms dish as it balances nicely with the heavy (and so good for the soul!) creamy sauce.
Chicken breasts can be a little tricky as they can become tough and dry very quickly once overcooked. Slicing the breast in half reduces its thickness and makes it much easier to cook. And reducing the guesswork (is it cooked yet?). Once the breasts are golden brown from pan-searing, they're very close to being cooked. The last step of simmering in the creamy mushroom sauce will finish up the cooking process. Which takes about a minute.
How to saute mushrooms to perfection
The key to delicious mushrooms is sauteeing on high heat until the mushrooms are golden and brown. Like image step #7 below! To achieve that, there is a very simple rule to stick to. Leave them be. Let the pan and the high heat do their job.
Mushrooms contain a lot of water which are released during the cooking process. Similar to cooking steaks, you don't want to keep turning it. Let it sizzle and caramelise on one side then turn them over. Roughly, turning every minute (or 45 seconds, judgment is required), all whilst having the heat as high as possible. The flavour of browned mushrooms is just phenomenal and vastly different to boiled mushrooms (which is what happens when it is stirred constantly in the pan).
Because mushrooms are sauteed on high heat, garlic is only added once mushrooms are browned. This will stop the garlic from burning and turning bitter.
Deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock (or white wine)
Chicken stock adds another layer of flavour to the overall dish, and in particular, the creamy mushroom sauce. Allow the stock to reduce by half before adding the heavy cream. Not only will this intensify its flavour, this will also avoid the stock from thinning the creamy sauce.
Love a thick sauce? A bit more on that below.
Tips for making this perfect every time
- Pan-sear the chicken breasts on high heat to golden brown. Colour means flavour!
- The same goes for mushrooms. Take the time to saute mushrooms on high heat until it's golden brown (and using the tips around how to brown mushrooms above). The mushrooms will taste nutty and delicious.
- Season the chicken breasts before pan-searing. No bland chicken here! If you have time, try seasoning the chicken 2 hours before cooking or even better, the night before. Magic happens and the chicken will become super tender, flavourful and juicy.
- Stop cooking once the chicken breasts are cooked through. They only need about 1 minute in the simmering creamy mushrooms sauce before they're done. Overcooking chicken, especially breast meat, will make it really tough and unpleasant to eat.
Good to know (FAQs)
The mushroom cream sauce in this recipe is creamy but not thick thick. For those that prefer a thicker sauce, adding a little flour or cornstarch will do the trick.
Flour method: add ½ tablespoon of flour to the sauteed mushrooms and spinach, roughly mix the flour in then add the heavy cream. Mixing constantly until a thick consistency is formed and no lumps.
Cornstarch method (gluten-free): Once the cream is added into the pan with the sauteed mushrooms and spinach, add a cornstarch mixture (½ tablespoon of cornstarch and ¼ cup of cold water) to the pan. Mix constantly until sauce thickens.
Cut through the thickest part of chicken breast and if the flesh is solid white and no longer pink that means the chicken is fully cooked. Another thing to look out for is the colour of the juices when the breast is cut. If the juices are slightly pink that means it needs to be cooked a little more. A more scientific approach is by measuring the internal temperature. Chicken is cooked when its internal temperature hits 74°C/165°F or higher.
More delicious chicken recipes
Made this Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms and Spinach recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms and Spinach
- 2 large chicken breasts ~500g/16oz
- 1¼ cups brown mushrooms ~300g/10oz, sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach ~60g/2oz
- ¼ cup chicken stock or white wine
- 1 cup heavy/thickened cream
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- salt & pepper
- Carefully, cut each chicken breast in half horizontally to get 2 thinner pieces per breast. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a skillet or non-stick pan, add olive oil and chicken breasts without overlapping each piece. Sear on medium-high heat and flip chicken and sear the other side once pan-side is golden and caramelised. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add butter, sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute on high heat until golden brown and nutty. Only turn mushrooms every minute or 45 seconds or when pan side is golden brown. This will take about 4 minutes. (note 1)
- Once mushrooms are brown and reduced in size by about half, add garlic and spinach. Continue to saute on high heat until spinach is wilted. (note 2)
- Pour in chicken stock, deglazing the pan, allow the stock to reduce by half.
- Reduce the heat to low and pour in heavy cream. Bring it to simmer then add chicken breasts back in the pan. Simmer for 1 minute or until chicken is cooked. Taste the sauce, adjust for salt and pepper if required, to taste.
- Serve immediately!