Chicken and Mushrooms with Mustardy Cream Sauce

Img_1440_2I’m sitting with my first cup of coffee noticing that after yesterday’s heavy grey gloom, the sun is actually brightening up my kitchen this morning, the patterns of light and shadows I love to watch definitely posing a distraction.  Today would not be the best day for that.  I promised myself I’d sit down, slam out this post lovingly wax over all things food,  and then get on with the last part of the birthday cake I started last night for my middle son who is older than I’d like to say this early in the morning before I’ve put my eyebrows on.  Happy Birthday, Ryan!

He’s coming over for dinner tonight, and when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said, “Chocolate with chocolate.  You know, chocolate.”  Yes, I know.  Trust me.  He’s wanted chocolate cake for his birthday for as long as I can remember, and in all these years, he’s probably not had the same chocolate cake twice.  Not once has he complained or said, “Mom.  Can’t you just make the cake you made last year?”  He’d never do that.  Neither would his brothers.

I’ve been lucky like that.

Not only have I been able to try whatever I’ve wanted, my boys have developed a open mind about food.  Well, open most of the time.  My middle son still jokes about his older brother’s questions about dinner.  His plate would be set in front of him and he’d ask,  “Does it have mushrooms?  Are there bones in it?”  It got to the point where, even when pasta was on the plate, he’d still as those questions.

The answer to those questions today is, “Yes, it has mushrooms.  Lots of them.  And no, it doesn’t have bones.”

I’m on a quest to remake many of the recipes that are buried in my early archives.  It’s not because they aren’t good recipes, it’s more because the photos are just horrible.  The only problem is, each time I begin to redo one, I change things, so can’t exactly redo the photos, right?  The nice surprise is, sometimes, an already great recipe is even better.

Jamie Oliver’s “My Old Man’s Superb Chicken” is one of those recipes.  The tender chicken wrapped around sauteed mushrooms and herbs, all wrapped in pastry, and enhanced by a creamy mustard sauce is heavenly.  But I didn’t feel like messing around with pounding the chicken when it came right down to it, nor was I in the mood to wrap the puff pastry around the stuffed chicken this time.  I went for a deconstructed version, almost deciding to bake the pastry squares and place the chicken on them, but have been avoiding bread at dinner if there is another starch on the plate (my husband is on a diet…).  But who’s keeping track that there’s heavy cream in that sauce, hmmmm?  I used half-n-half instead and it was perfect.

Add some roasted potatoes, and peas and dinner is served, plates are licked, smiles all ’round.  Mushrooms, no bones, and many, many lovely memories.

Oh, and if you know anyone who’s interested in a  young man who likes to talk, let me know.  He’s available.

I’m just sayin’.

Chicken & Mushrooms with Mustardy Cream Sauce

1-1/2 c. fresh mushrooms, chopped, mixed (oyster, shitake, crimini)
4 T olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

salt & pepper to taste
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
2 large chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
2 T whole grain mustard
3/4 c. chardonnay
1/2 c. half-n-half

In a large skillet, heat 2 T of the olive oil over medium and saute mushrooms until all moisture has been released and a nice brown begins to show on the bottom of the skillet.  Add the garlic and rosemary, tossing for another minute.  Season with salt and pepper and scrape into a bowl, set aside and keep warm.

Pat the chicken breasts dry, season with salt & pepper.  Add the remaining 2 T olive oil to the skillet, and brown the chicken well on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Cover the skillet, and let cook until done (depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts) 10-15 minutes.  There should be no pinkness in the interior.  Remove chicken to a plate and keep warm.

In the same skillet, pour in the chardonnay and mustard and scrape, removing all the brown from the bottom of the pan.  Allow to cook and reduce slightly.  Add the half-n-half and simmer until slightly thickened.

To serve, cut each chicken breast into slices, top with mushrooms and sauce.  Sprinkle on some more sprigs of rosemary so someone at the table will ask, “Do we eat the rosemary?”


  • To reduce cooking time, pound each chicken breast before cooking.
  • Or, pound the chicken breasts, put some of the mushroom mixture on each and roll carefully, securing each with a toothpick.  Then brown the outside well before cooking as described above.
  • Serve with roasted fingerlings:  par-boil fingerlings by dropping in boiling water until barely tender, pour into a strainer, and spray with cold water.  When you can handle them, slice each in half lengthwise.  Pour onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place under the broiler 6-8″ from the heat, and cook until just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven, flip them, and place them back under the broiler until done — total time about 10 minutes.
  • Don’t forget the peas!  We love peas, cooked in the microwave with a tiny bit of water, salt & pepper for a couple of minutes.  No butter.


Easy, yummy dinner that has a “looks like you’ve been cooking all day” taste to it.