Balsamic Mushroom Chicken


I’m a contestant on Chopped.

Well, I pretend to be.

Every weekend, as I compose the grocery list, I ask my husband what he wants for dinner for the following week. I like to get ideas for meals and make what he is craving. He typically responds with individual ingredients, instead of a specific meal. I love when he does this, because it gives me hints of what he is hungry for but allows me to create anything from it.  Almost like opening my basket of ingredients, like they do on Chopped! We also don’t get stuck eating the exact same meal over and over again.

So what was in my “basket” this week.  Chicken, Mushrooms and Spinach.

My immediate thought was Chicken Marsala. As I opened my cabinet to look for Marsala wine, I spotted balsamic vinegar. I love balsamic on just about anything, from fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, to strawberries for dessert. That’s it! My secret ingredient! I decided to make a lighter version of a traditional Chicken Marsala by using the balsamic vinegar to make a sauce.

This meal is delicious, and healthier than most Marsala dishes. Balsamic Vinegar adds a ton of flavor without the calories, and I skip adding any heavy cream to the sauce. It is a dinner you will feel great about what you are eating! And while I may not actually be on Chopped, my husband is always my food critic and he gave this meal a ten!

Ingredients

1.Chicken cutlets

2. 2 cups of cremini or shiitake mushrooms, chopped

3. 3/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

4. 1/2 cup chicken broth

5. 2 tablespoons of flour

6. Thyme- a small pinch of dry or one sprig of fresh chopped

7. Baby spinach

8. EVOO

9. Salt and pepper

Recipe

1. In a large skillet, drizzle of EVOO over medium heat.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of vinegar.

3. Add the chicken to the skillet, and brown the chicken on both sides. Once the chicken is brown on both sides, remove it from the pan, and on to a plate. Cover the plate with tin foil, to keep the chicken warm. (The chicken may not be completely cooked through yet, but don’t worry! It will finish cooking at the end of the recipe.)

4. Drizzle the bottom of the pan with  EVOO again. Next add the mushrooms to the pan. Let them cook until soft and brown, stirring occasionally.

5. Once the mushrooms are lightly browned and tender, sprinkle them with the flour. This will create a thick paste on the mushrooms, that will help to thicken the consistency of the sauce.

6. Once a paste has been created, add the balsamic to the pan and let it simmer and absorb the flavor. Next add the chicken broth.

7. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all the flavors that have stuck to it.

8. Let the sauce simmer on low, and reduce. It should form more of a gravy-like consistency.

9. Add your chicken back to the skillet and submerge in the the sauce. Sprinkle the sauce with the thyme.

10. In a separate skillet, saute the baby spinach with a little EVOO, salt and pepper until it has wilted.

Serve your Balsamic Mushroom Chicken over your wilted spinach. I served ours with steamed brown rice, but it would be fabulous over mashed potatoes as well! The mushroom sauce is very versatile, and can be used in a number of dishes. It would be delicious on top of a burger or meatloaf.  Or use the sauce over mushroom filled ravioli, with a heap of fresh ricotta cheese, for a pasta dinner!