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Chef's Hat: The challenge of a simple chicken recipe

Chicken with Mushroom-Garlic Sauce sounds easy, but the recipe takes awhile to prepare. But the end result is worth the work.

mushroom-chicken-Chefs-Hat.jpg
Photo / Donna Evans
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There are recipes that are fairly simple where the dish comes together quickly. But there are occasions when a recipe claims to be easy, yet those four simple steps end up being an hourlong adventure in the kitchen.

Take, for example, a Chicken with Mushroom Sauce recipe. Sounds fairly simple. You fry some chicken and then top it with an easy-to-prepare sauce. Or so the original recipe said.

Unfortunately, cooking a few thighs with a supposedly easy sauce ended up being a long journey. First off, you don’t just fry the chicken. It has to be seasoned and then “dredged” in flour. For some of us, "dredging in flour" means putting flour on a plate, lightly coating the chicken and having half of the flour end up on the floor.

Although this was a “one pan” recipe, after the chicken is cooked it has to be removed from the pan and set aside while the sauce is cooked. So yet one more step that complicates this supposedly simple recipe.

But, although the recipe is not exactly simple, the end result was extremely tasteful and worth all the effort that went into making the dish.

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Slow cooker recipes can require many steps - such as browning meat and cutting up vegetables. Forget all that with this knockoff rotisserie chicken recipe. It's a simple, straightforward recipe that takes just a few minutes to prepare and then the slower cooker does all the work.

The best part about it is the chicken is cooked to a tender, rotisserie style chicken that will be fresher (and taste better) than one purchased at a grocery store.

Whether you want to spend an hour in the kitchen prepping your meal or you want a dish that pretty much allows you to set it into the slow cooker and forget about it, you can’t go wrong with either of these chicken recipes. Happy Eating!

Chicken With Mushroom-Garlic Sauce

Chef's Hat Mushroom Chicken recipe.jpg
Chicken with Mushroom-Garlic Sauce is time consuming to prepare, but worth the end result.
Contributed / Donna Evans

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine (divided)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, bella or cremini (sliced)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons parsley

Season the chicken with the salt and peppers. Place 4 tablespoons of flour on a plate. Dredge the chicken into the flour, turning until the pieces are well coated.

Place a medium sized skillet on the stove. Add the canola oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter and heat to medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet in a single layer (work in batches if the skillet is not big enough). Cook until the chicken is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This will take approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side.

Remove the chicken and cover it with foil. Turn the heat to medium low and add the remaining butter. Add the garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the remaining flour to the white wine and mix well. Pour it into the mushroom mixture. Stir well. Gradually add the chicken stock, thyme and oregano. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces and thickens.

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Add the chicken back to the pan. Taste the sauce. If necessary, add additional salt and pepper. Cook the meal for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, just to warm up the chicken. Place the chicken on serving plates. Spoon the sauce over the top and sprinkle parsley over the chicken.

Slow Cooker Rotisserie Style Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, approximately 4 pounds (various chicken pieces - breasts, thighs or legs - can be used instead of a whole chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Tear off four sheets of aluminum foil and roll them into balls. Place the balls into the bottom of the slow cooker. (This will work as a rack for the chicken. The juices will stay in the bottom of the slow cooker and help to flavor the chicken.)

If using a whole chicken, remove the neck and giblets. These can be used for another recipe or discarded. Rinse the chicken (or chicken pieces) well. Pat them dry with paper towels.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine all of the seasonings. Rub the seasoning mix all over the chicken.

Place the chicken on top of the aluminum foil. Cover with the lid. Cook on low for 7 to 7 1/2 hours or on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. If using pieces and not a whole chicken, your cooking time will be shorter. Chicken should be cooked until it has a nice crust and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. You may have to use a spatula as the chicken is very tender and can fall apart. If you want crispier skin, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on a baking sheet. Broil for 5 to 7 minutes.
Donna Evans is an Echo Journal correspondent.

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