5 Ingredients or Fewer

Weeknight Chicken With Creamy Mushrooms

March  8, 2022
40 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Gerri Williams. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Cream of mushroom chicken that is almost as easy as cranking open a can. This recipe requires a bit of multitasking—yes, you can—so make sure to read it from start to finish before you dive in. All the steps are highly doable, and having two skillets going at once is the sort of weeknight efficiency that will make you feel like a superhero. Which you are. Resist the temptation to swap in half-and-half or whole milk here; neither are rich enough to yield the silky consistency and rich flavor we’re after. In a pinch, you could swap in white button mushrooms, but baby bellas (aka crimini mushrooms) are just as easy to find, barely more expensive, and way more flavorful. You’ll notice that the chicken cooks longer on the first side—this is on purpose. For thin cutlets, it’s impossible to get a deep, dark sear on both sides without overcooking the meat. By fully committing to the first side, we get a gorgeous golden crust, all while keeping the chicken juicy and tender. If you don’t have or don’t like chives—tell me, what do you have or like? Parsley or dill would both be great here, as would basil or arugula. This doesn’t need a starchy sidekick, but it wouldn’t refuse one either; try a crusty baguette or egg noodles. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Weeknight Chicken With Creamy Mushrooms
  • 1 pound baby bella (aka cremini) mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 (about 1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, preferably grainy
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped chives (or parsley or dill)
  1. Wash and dry the mushrooms (and don’t remove the stems—they’re delicious). Slice half. Quarter the other half.
  2. Set a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted and starting to turn golden, add all the mushrooms and toss to coat. (This looks ridiculous, but it’ll work out.) Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re browned and starting to stick to the pan, with no remaining mushroom liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, horizontally halve the chicken breasts, then use a mallet or heavy skillet to pound the pieces to an even ¼-inch thickness. Pat chicken dry, then season all over with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the mustard into the cream with a fork (directly in its measuring cup to save a dish).
  5. When the mushrooms are browned and sticking, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then deglaze with ⅓ cup of water.
  6. Let the water come to a boil while you set another large skillet (preferably cast-iron or enamel) over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted and starting to brown, add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the bottom is deeply browned and crusty. You can rotate the pan halfway through and press down on the chicken if it starts to curl up, but don’t shuffle it around.
  7. As soon as the chicken starts cooking, stir the mustard-cream into the mushrooms. Vigorously simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until pale brown and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, then turn off the heat. Season to taste with mustard, salt, and pepper.
  8. Flip the chicken and cook for about 1 minute more, until just cooked through (165°F on an instant-reader thermometer or opaque in the thickest part). Turn off the heat.
  9. Spoon the creamy mushrooms on and around the chicken. Shower all over with the chives and serve directly out of the skillet.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Tenely Smith
    Tenely Smith
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • Windy K
    Windy K
  • cosmiccook
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

40 Reviews

Windy K. August 8, 2023
This recipe was delicious and came together quickly. Pounding out the chicken breast gave a crisp crust with a tender juicy center. The sauce is so comforting. I served over leftover mashed potatoes. Bellissimo! I keep all these ingredients stocked so this will be on my regular rotation.
cosmiccook August 1, 2023
We scarfed this up! I did 1/2 olive oil & 1/2 butter to limit saturated fat (this WAS a Monday nite dish--typically meatless). Didn't have cream, so I used 1/2 cup of full-fat goats milk gifted by my lovely neighbor. Added 1/4 cup of crème fraiche w 1/2 & 1/2 languishing from previous recipe. As a N.O. native we are compelled to add garlic to use about everything which I did & the recipe greatly appreciates. I also add onion powder. This dish pleaded w me to add Chervil, Savory & Tarragon--who am I to ignore their herbal call? All I had was green onions that I chopped and scattered the white bulb in the chicken towards end before adding sauce. DEGLAZED w white wine--mushroom and/or chix stock also works. Dumped the mushroom sauce into the chicken breast pan, spread the green onions on top. Served w pan roasted asparagus. The dish was NOT heavy--even w 100 degree temp day! Definitely a keeper--will also work w other meats or even some fish--I will definitely try.
riceball December 20, 2022
Ditto for a genius recipe and great tips in Emma's video to streamline workflow and, get this done for a weeknight meal. It's the perfect low fuss but high reward, multitask recipe enabling you to prep and clean while you leave the mushrooms and chicken to just sit and brown. Not using flour to dredge the chicken is great - it makes it much less greasy. Would love any ideas for substitutions to make this a bit less rich and fatty (so I can keep it on rotation without guilt) but to achieve a similar effect. Would olive oil for the fat and for the cream - half & half or full fat greek yogurt work?
cosmiccook July 24, 2023
I'm going to try this again w goat cheese/Farmers cheese. While olive oil is less saturated and will work, I suggest a LITTLE butter for depth--either 3:1 or 1/2 butter & oil. Heavy for peak summer 95 + heat, but as soon as weather cools down a bit-perfect!
riceball July 24, 2023
Thanks that makes sense re: butter. I did try this with homemade cashew cream which actually worked quite well as a d heavy cream substitute.
cosmiccook July 24, 2023
How did you make your cashew cream? Can you do that with hazelnuts?
cosmiccook August 1, 2023
I don't know about yogurt, but I know goat cheese w 1/2&1/2 would (next time for me). I also used 1/2 butter and O.O for a less fat --and our goats milk w crème fraiche, 1/2&1/2 worked fine. The sauce may not be as thick as Emma's but it was damn fine! DO add spices & herbs though--I think otherwise I would have found it very bland but as a N.O. native we're used to more spices & herbs.
riceball August 2, 2023
Re: hazelnut not sure if that would work. For what it’s worth, cashews are often used to create “cream” for vegan recipes. Could be that cashews are softer and less prone to separating from water when blended. glad the other lower fat alternatives worked as well. For more flavor, I transferred the mushroom sauce to the chicken skillet (rather than vice versa) to absorb some of the liquid from the chicken.
cosmiccook August 2, 2023
@ RICEBALL---Thanks for the cashew tip--I've never tried vegan cream but will explore the cashew cream!
I did the same! I thought that's what the recipe said but there was NO way I was going to pass up that delicious fond from the chicken!
Jessamin September 21, 2022
This is a Genius recipe for sure. Cheap, quick, easy, all disguised as "fancy". I timed things poorly and my creamed mushrooms reduced too much before other components were done, so I added pasta water and I probably will keep that method in the future, it made a beautiful sauce. Served over spaghetti with the chicken as written, but this would support any protein, none at all, or probs whatever veg you have in the fridge. Amazing, all the stars.
Boobahchick July 31, 2022
💗THis will definitely be added to the rotation!! I actually used half and half both times and it was delicious! The depth of the mushroom flavor is my favorite bit!
Tenely S. May 23, 2022
So easy and delicious! Definitely company worthy. Great video-pep talk. I loved the 2 different mushroom cuts. Made for interesting textures. Served with roasted asparagus but next time I think a salad with vinegarette to counter the richness of the cream. Would also be delish with no meat, served over a grain or pasta.
EmilyK May 8, 2022
Wonderful! Very easy recipe to follow. My husband loved it!
jcgettle May 3, 2022
Wonderful little recipe. I made it with a splash of Pinot blanc and some fresh thyme and it tasted spectacular. This is practically foolproof.
Chris M. April 11, 2022
So yummy! I made this on Sunday. So easy - and the video is entertaining, I learn cool stuff from you. We had company the next day and my husband said we should have that again. The second time was even easier. Used a cast iron skillet to pound the chicken the first time and bought a meat mallet today for round 2. Both were good tools for the job. I love all the info you give about mushrooms. Washing them! Sautéing lots at once! The chicken was beautifully seared, just like you said. I used thighs the first night, breasts the second. Both breasts and thighs were delish! Thanks for the easy and tasty recipes, and the informative videos. I look forward to them.
[email protected] April 4, 2022
Delicious! Very rich. Easy to do. First time I had to check the recipe quite a bit. Wanted to get it right. Cast iron was perfect to cook chicken in. Used wok for mushrooms and that worked beautifully. A small amount of pasta would be good with this but not necessary. Very filling!
Melanie S. March 31, 2022
What kinda chump doesn’t love chives?

That is all. I plan to make this tonight, so I’ll report back. I have thyme, mint, and chives poking up out of my garden. Exciting!
Brenda S. March 20, 2022
Yum yum yum yum yum. Finally made this and it was ah-mazing - thanks for another great recipe Emma!!!!! I did shortcut by using flattened chicken tenderloins and made it in one pan - cooked the chicken first, set aside, and made the creamy mushrooms in the same skillet. Any suggestios for a variation using sun-dried tomatoes - would the mustard complement or compete, and what could I substitute?
Linda E. March 18, 2022
Well … I did cheat just a bit as I had a container of sliced mushrooms and thin sliced chicken breasts in the fridge. I don’t have a cast iron skillet but as expected my trusty Calphalon did not let me down. Followed the directions and the end result was delicious! Served with fresh peas and buttered noodles (husband’s request!). Will definitely be making again! Thanks, Emma!
Eilidhmack March 15, 2022
This is a wonderful recipe. I eat mostly veggie so was a bit nervous about cooking the chicken but Emma's tips make it very approachable. I really can't believe how decadent and wonderful it tastes with so few ingredients and steps (and dishes!). I used dill as it's what we had around and it worked really well. Thank you Emma x
Domenica March 14, 2022
Really tasty- and easy!
FabSpinelli March 14, 2022
Super easy recipe. Perfect for a weeknight, very tasty.I add a little capers on my chicken pan and turn out delish!
Pward March 12, 2022
Love this recipe! Restaurant quality and will absolutely serve to guests. Thank you Emma for this super delicious recipe as well as your wonderful confidence building presentation. I will be following you for more excitement recipes in the future.
Emma L. March 14, 2022
Thanks, Pward!
SueS March 11, 2022
I made this exactly as described and it was delicious. Rave reviews from the family!
Emma L. March 14, 2022
Thank you, SueS!
Exbruxelles March 10, 2022
I added a chopped leek with the mushrooms and deglazed the mushrooms with a big splash of white wine. It was excellent and could be used with any other protein--I think pork would work really well.
Emma L. March 14, 2022
I bet pork would be delicious! Report back if you give it a try.
BritlynCFerrante March 9, 2022
Made this tonight. It was SO easy and SO delicious. My husband loved it. I made some basmati rice to go with it. And to top it all off, barely any dishes to clean up afterwards. Will absolutely be keeping this recipe for the future.
Emma L. March 14, 2022
Thanks so much, BritlynCFerrante.