Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fantastic Fungus!

Seriously, doesn't it seem wrong to call a mushroom a fungus? I love mushrooms. They add so much to a meal. Now we have a word for it...umami! Webster's Dictionary describes it as "a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (as glutamate and aspartate)." Wikipedia describes it as follows, "Umami, a savory taste, is one of the five basic tastes, together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. A loanword from the Japanese (うま味), umami can be translated "pleasant savory taste."

I bought these mushrooms for a pasta sauce (more on that very soon...perhaps by this weekend). I bought extra mushrooms because I misjudged the amount in the package. No problem though! I will never complain about having bought too many mushrooms. Even if I had sauteed them with just a little salt and pepper and eaten them on their own for lunch, it would have been well worth it.  As it was, I found this easy and tasty little recipe to use them in. Enjoy!

Chicken with Mushrooms


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme)
1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine, optional (or use another 1/4 cup chicken broth)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Place flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then coat with flour, shaking off excess.

In a large skillet, heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. In batches, cook chicken until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.

Reduce heat to medium, add thyme, mushrooms, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and cook until softened, 6 minutes.

Add broth and wine, if using, and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return chicken to pan along with any accumulated juices; top with parsley.

Source: September 2012 Everyday Food. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: I doubled the sauce and added a little cornstarch to thicken it (about 1 teaspoon). I whisked it until smooth and then added the sauce to the pan. I also accidentally added too much thyme. I didn't have fresh thyme (my thyme plant is buried under about a foot of snow), and I was out of dried thyme. Randomly, all I had was ground thyme, so I used that...however, ground thyme has an even more concentrated flavor than dried thyme (hence my suggestions for amounts to use for dried and ground thyme in the recipe above). However, even with too much thyme, this was a fantastic recipe.


  1. Mushrooms add so much to the simplest dishes. I think that's why I like stroganoff so much...mushrooms, beef, cream sauce. Simple and good. This looks really good.

  2. Man on man have I been craving unami lately... I wonder why? Its nice that this time around I'm not craving those giant target cookies! :)

  3. Ahhhh, pregnancy cravings. Who can make sense of them? Yes, definitely mushrooms are a healthier craving than huge cookies!