If you’re hungry, chicken thighs are a great answer to the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” You can get this chicken and mushroom skillet recipe from walk in the door from work to ready to eat in about half an hour.
And, it only requires one pot! Less clean up is a good thing, in my book. You don’t have to marinate the chicken, or leave it overnight, or fuss with it. Pan fry the chicken, slice the mushrooms, onions, and garlic, and let it simmer.
There’s no separate gravy to prepare either. It creates its own sauce right in the pan.
The funny thing is, I “invented” (or thought I’d invented) this recipe one night from ingredients I had lying around. It turns out that it’s nearly identical to a recipe in one of Jacques Pépin’s cookbooks. I don’t pretend to be his equal, but if you’re going to “borrow” an idea from someone, start at the top!
Although, I will say that his recipe requires two pots and mine only needs one. Yes, I do count the washing up necessary to make something (it makes a difference when you don’t have a dishwasher).
Serve the chicken with rice or crusty bread to sop up the sauce. The vegetables in the photo were just some frozen mixed vegetables that I microwaved with salt and lemon pepper.
A quick one pot chicken dish with mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
1 chicken thigh, bone-in
salt and pepper
1-2 T olive oil
2 tsp flour
1/3 C chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
2-3 sliced mushrooms (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 C chicken broth (plus one or 2 T if needed)
pinch dried thyme
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a small skillet on medium heat.
Put the chicken in the pan and cook five minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook another five minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sprinkle everything with the flour and stir to distribute it evenly.
Pour the chicken broth into the pan and sprinkle the thyme over the chicken and vegetables.
Cover the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the chicken and set it on a plate. Stir the remaining vegetables and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom. If it's too dry, add another tablespoon or two of chicken broth. This should deglaze the pan and create a sauce. Cook for another few minutes until the sauce thickens.
Pour the mushroom sauce over the chicken.
Chicken and Mushroom Skillet Recipe Substitutions and Variations
stir a splash of dry white wine into the sauce (or use the wine instead of the chicken broth)
add 1/3 cup of frozen broccoli to the mushroom mixture
Two of my friends have been raving about this chicken chili verde recipe for years. I finally decided to try it myself, and they were right.
Ideally, this should be made with Hatch chiles. Unfortunately, while New York is a wonderland of food, fresh Hatch chiles are a bit scarce. So, I had to make do with the canned variety. If you can get them fresh, by all means use them! Instead of regular canned tomatoes, I used tomatoes mixed with green chiles.
There are no beans, just chicken, peppers, a few spices, and chicken broth. It’s not too spicy, and easy to put together. The hardest part is waiting for it to simmer!
Amazon only sells this single can to Prime members (or if you have access to their fresh service), but if you do, then go for it. They’ve got the Hatch chiles too, but you have to buy an awful lot of them at once!
The beauty of this Indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt recipe is that it’s delicious and can be made fairly quickly.You can just serve it with naan or make some rice to help soak up the sauce.I have adapted this from Madhur Joffrey’s recipe. Her recipe is for four people, my version is dinner for one person.
I made a few other minor changes as well. The original recipe calls for both dried and fresh coriander.I don’t generally have fresh coriander (and if I did, it would spoil), so I used a bit more dried instead.
She also says to use cardamon pods. I keep thinking about buying them, but then I remember they break my “no hard to get ingredients” rule.So, I leave them out.One day, I will have to try it with the cardamon, though! If you can get them easily and want to use them, you’ll need two. Add them with the cloves and cinnamon. Make sure to remove all of the whole spices before serving. You don’t want to crunch down on a clove.
Finally, I used black raisins instead of golden raisins, because that’s what I had.
I had sliced almonds, but you can substitute slivered, or blanched if that’s easier. You might even use whole ones, or throw them in the mini-chopper to chop them up.
There’s also a fun bit of chemistry here.When you add the raisins to the hot pan, they plump up and revert back to grapes!
Put the yogurt in a small bowl. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Mix that all up until it’s smooth and set it aside while you prepare the chicken and the rest of the recipe.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper
Turn the heat on a burner to medium-high. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cloves, cinnamon, (cardamon pods if using) and the bay leaf. Stir that together. Add the chicken thigh and brown it on both sides for about 2-3 minutes per side.
Once it’s brown, remove the chicken and place it in a small bowl.
Now add the almonds and raisins to the pan and stir them up. Keep an eye on it because the almonds will turn brown quickly and the raisins will magically transform back into grapes. Once they do, add the chicken back to the pan along with the yogurt mixture.
Stir that to combine everything. Increase the heat and bring the chicken/yogurt mixture to a simmer (not quite boiling). Stir when you add the chicken and yogurt and again after about 10 minutes. Cover, turn the the heat down to low and cook for another 10 minutes (twenty minutes total).
Take the cover off, increase the heat slightly, and cook down the sauce until it thickens. Remove the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamon pods if you used them, and bay leaf) and discard them before serving.
Substitutions and Variations for Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt
try it with ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, sliced onions, and ginger paste (full recipe here)
I’ve been fighting a terrible cold, so I needed soup. Specifically soup with curry or something spicy to cut through the congestion and fight those germs! So I turned to the Silver Palate cookbook and made curried chicken soup. I think it’s working!
A couple of notes on this. First, I used hot curry, which I don’t think I will do again. It was good for the cold, but a bit much for the soup. Next, I took the photo and realized I forgot to add the half-and-half! It’s creamy curried chicken soup!
If you don’t want the half-and-half, that’s fine. It’s good either way (I added it to the second bowl I ate).
Finally, the original recipe says to defrost the peas first. I don’t think that’s really necessary. Peas cook fairly quickly, unless they’re all stuck together in the box.
Making this soup is much easier (and less messy) if you have a stick blender. Just put the blender in the soup, press the button, and puree it. Otherwise, you’ll need to strain it, put the solids in a standing blender or food processor and then add some cooking liquid. Full instructions are in the recipe.
If you have the hand blender, this soup requires very little effort. Cut up the vegetables, add the stock, rice, and chicken, and just let it cook.
I’ve cut the original recipe in half, so it makes 2-3 servings instead of 4-6. Eat one right away and freeze (or save) the rest for another day.
A slightly spicy curried chicken soup with carrots.
3 T unsalted butter
1 cup (about one medium) onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 T curry powder
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 chicken thighs (bone-in)
1/4 C long grain white rice
1/2 C half-and-half*
5 ounces (about 2/3 C) frozen peas
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, carrots, and the curry powder. Stir that around to combine everything.
Next, reduce the heat to a low flame (or temperature setting). Let the vegetables and curry cook on low for about 20 minutes. Stir the mixture every once in a while so it doesn't stick and cooks evenly.
Add the stock, chicken, and the rice. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it's boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer (it should bubble occasionally). Let it cook for about 25 minutes until the rice and the chicken are cooked.
Carefully remove the chicken (use tongs) and set it aside. Let it rest for 10 minutes until it's cool enough to handle. Once you can touch it, cut it up into small pieces and keep it separate on the cutting board for now.
If you have a hand blender, stick it in the pot and puree the soup. If not, strain the soup into a bowl and put the solids into a blender or food processor with about one cup of liquid. Blend until smooth, adding more cooking liquid if necessary. Then put everything back in the pot.
Add the half-and half to the pot (if using), along with the diced chicken. Discard the bones, or save them for stock. Add the peas and heat the soup for 15 minutes until the peas are cooked.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*It's supposed to be creamy chicken curry soup. I forgot to add the cream. It was delicious without it. You can also add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top.
After all the soup, turkey, and holiday food, it’s time for something a bit simpler. Until, of course, the next holiday comes along. The market had some beautiful Campari tomatoes on sale, right next to the fresh mozzarella. I couldn’t resist. So, I put that together with some basil, leftover roast chicken, and a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread. Voila! The chicken caprese panini sandwich.
This is more of a guide than a recipe. There’s not a lot of measuring.
I started with leftover roast chicken, so I didn’t need to make the chicken. If you already have cooked chicken, just pop it into the sandwich. Some leftover rotisserie chicken would work nicely. All you have to do now is grill the bread, melt the cheese, and add the tomatoes and basil.
If not, see the substitutions and variations section below for ideas on how to cook the chicken,
The bread does tend to slurp up the olive oil, but really it’s worth it! The sandwich gets golden brown, and the cheese is gooey and melty. It’s your favorite childhood grilled cheese sandwich for grownups!
Do use the fresh mozzarella if you can get it. It’s far more flavorful (and I think it melts better) than the pre-packaged kind.
Turn a caprese salad into a full lunch with some chicken and grilled bread.
2 T olive oil
2 slices ciabatta bread (or a small baguette, you want something crusty)
1/4 C shredded cooked chicken
1-2 slices fresh mozzarella
1 Campari tomato (or half a small beefsteak tomato), sliced
2-4 basil leaves
Heat the oil in a small frying pan
Add the two slices of bread, side by side.
Let the bread cook until it turns golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).
Add the cooked chicken and the mozzarella cheese. Put the second slice of bread on top of the first one, to make a sandwich. If you like freshly cooked tomato, add it with the cheese. If not, slide it in after you remove the sandwich from the pan.
Cover the pan and let the sandwich cook for 30 seconds or so until the cheese melts.
Add the tomato (if you haven't already) and the basil.
Substitutions and Variations for Chicken Caprese Panini Sandwich
Saute some mushrooms (do that first) and add them to the sandwich at the end.
Start with fresh chicken breasts (season with salt/pepper/balsamic vinegar/olive oil) then gently cook in olive oil
Or, season the chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook that in a bit of olive oil
Add some avocado
Get an extra serving of veggies and put in a few spinach leaves
Or, try cooking it in the broiler instead (less oil needed)
I adapted this crispy lemon chicken thigh recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. It’s full of lemon flavor from lemon juice, lemon pepper, and lemon zest. The lemon is balanced by brown sugar for sweetness and a bit of paprika for a hint of bite. You can eat it hot, or cold for lunch the next day. It’s also good for picnics while the weather is still good.
I cut the original recipe down to serve one (instead of six), but also made a few other small changes. The cookbook recipe called for lemon extract. It’s an ingredient I’m never going to use up (unless I make lots of lemon chicken). So, I increased the lemon juice a bit.
I then swapped the plain black pepper for lemon pepper. Lemon pepper is a bit exotic, but I do use it for other things (try it on string beans or broccoli). This way, I kept the lemony flavor without having to buy a special ingredient only to use a spoonful or two (which annoys me).
You end up with a crispy crust, almost like fried chicken, except there’s very little oil, less mess, and you can bake it in the toaster oven.
Incidentally, the recipe on the facing page of the cookbook is for Chicken Monterey, made with orange juice. I haven’t done it, but I bet orange juice and zest would work for this too. You might try a bit of orange juice concentrate, or upping the zest to substitute for lemon pepper/extract. I’d also reduce the brown sugar, since orange is sweeter than lemon.
Crispy lemon chicken thigh recipe with three kinds of lemon, plus brown sugar.
1 chicken thigh
2 T lemon juice
1 heaping T flour
generous pinch of salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
2 T neutral oil (such as canola or sunflower)
1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp chicken stock
one slice lemon
Pour the lemon juice in a bowl and add the chicken. This is best if you let it sit in the fridge overnight (or do it in the morning). If not, let it sit for half an hour.
Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees.
Discard the lemon juice and dry off the chicken with a paper towel.
Take a small plastic zippered bag and add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, paprika, and lemon pepper). Add the chicken to the bag, zip it shut, and shake thoroughly until the chicken is completely covered with the flour mixture.
Heat the oil in a small skillet and fry the chicken (turning once with kitchen tongs) until it gets brown and crispy. This should take about 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and place it on the toaster oven tray. Sprinkle it with the lemon zest and the brown sugar.
Pour the chicken stock around the chicken (not over it). Put the lemon slice on top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
I served this with a baked potato, so I put that in the oven first, while the chicken sat in the lemon juice.
It’s too hot to do much cooking, but this Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad doesn’t require too much time standing over the stove. You only have to boil the egg and the potato. You can use leftover chicken if you have it, or grab a rotisserie chicken from the market.
I call it (in my head) Fairway Market salad, because that’s where I got the idea. It’s pretty flexible, but the constants (at least for me), are the chicken, spinach (and/or mixed greens), boiled potato, and hard boiled egg.
You can change it to suit your own tastes or whatever you have in the fridge.
Since it was too hot to roast a chicken, I got a rotisserie chicken and used that for my salad. If you want it vegetarian, or don’t have a cooked chicken, you can leave it out. On a cooler day, make an extra chicken thigh and season it with lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I adapted the salad dressing recipe from Ina Gartner.
Spinach Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
A healthy, summery salad, full of veggies. This is flexible, so add different vegetables, nuts, bacon, or cheese to suit your taste (and what's in your fridge).
One to two large handfuls mixed greens and/or spinach leaves (washed thoroughly and patted dry)
One large egg
One small potato
1/4 cucumber, sliced
4-5 grape tomatoes, sliced in half (or one small beefsteak tomato, sliced in wedges)
1-2 slices prosciutto or cooked bacon (optional)
3-4 sugar snap peas (string removed and cut up into chunks)
1/3 C shredded cooked chicken
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
2 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
Cut the potato into chunks, and add them to a small pan filled with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes.
While the potato is cooking, fill a small enamel pan with water and add the egg. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes (use the longer time if the egg is right out of the fridge). Remove the egg, and rinse it under cold running water to stop the cooking process and make it easier to peel.
When the potato cubes are done, strain them, and rinse under cold water (so you don't have a hot potato in your cold salad).
Now, add the greens, cucumber, tomatoes, bacon or prosciutto, snap peas, and whatever other veggies you like, to a large bowl. Add the chicken.
Mix together the mustard, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Gradually add the olive oil, stirring with a whisk or a fork so that it blends together.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it.
If you're lazy, you can cook the potato and the egg in the same pan. Remove the egg after 10-12 minutes of simmering. Let the potato cook another 10 minutes. This way, there's only one pan to wash instead of two.
Substitutions and Variations for Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad
Make the dressing with lemon juice instead of vinegar
Add some whole or sliced almonds
Top with grated parmesan or manchego cheese
Cook a couple of slices of bacon and crumble them over the top
This recipe for chicken mango stir fry combines the sweetness of mango and bell peppers with the heat of hot chile. The combination gives it plenty of eye appeal, as well as flavor. This is easy to put together, and flexible too. Use snap peas or snow peas instead of regular peas, if you prefer. Add more fresh chiles, try some mini corn cobs, or give it a Thai spin with lime, cilantro, and basil.
Unless you’re baking (which is less forgiving) the idea is to have fun with your food. Change the ingredients to suit your own tastes, or to fit whatever you happen to have in the fridge that day.
You can put this together in about 20 minutes, so it’s a great option when you’re in a hurry.
I used fresh vegetables, but you can just grab a package of mixed frozen Asian veggies and use that instead. That will save some time too and cut the whole thing down to fifteen minutes.
I wouldn’t use the frozen bell peppers though, they tend to be soggy.
This is all my brother’s fault. He was raving about the Sichuan chinese chicken and eggplant with garlic sauce that he had at a local restaurant. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, and I already had the eggplant (bought to make eggplant parmesan), so I figured I would give it a try.
This recipe is adapted from The New York Times. It originally called for minced garlic, soybean paste, and hot chili paste. I had the garlic, but not the other ingredients, so I improvised. I replaced the soybean paste with hoisin sauce, and used chili garlic sauce instead of the garlic and chili paste. Doing that also saved me an extra step (no garlic to chop). I reduced the water a bit to compensate. That recipe also called for ground pork (which I didn’t have because I’d eaten the last of it with my black beans, so I used chicken instead).
Eggplant is notorious for soaking up oil. There are several schools of thought about preparing eggplant in order to minimize this.
Some insist you have to salt it and let it sit (to draw out the water) and dry it with a paper towel and let it sit for 45 minutes. Others say to put it in water, salt the water, cover that with a lid or a heavy weight, and let it sit for 15 minutes, then drain, and dry it off.
A third way (which I just learned, and wouldn’t necessarily do for Chinese food), is to soak the eggplant in milk.
I tend to use the first method, but I confess I usually don’t wait that long. I’m too impatient (and hungry). I get around it by slicing the eggplant very thin.
If you want your eggplant extra crispy, dredge it in cornstarch before you cook it.
Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
8-12 thin slices of eggplant
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1tsp potato starch or corn starch
1/2 tsp garlic chili sauce
1/4 tsp hoisin sauce
2T neutral oil
1 chicken thigh
Slice the eggplant and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle it with a bit of salt, toss everything together and let it sit while you go on to the next step.
In a separate, small bowl, make the sauce. Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, and starch (potato or corn) until the starch dissolves. Add the water, chili garlic sauce, and hoisin sauce.
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan or wok.
Slice the meat off the chicken thigh (if you are using bone-in), or cut into strips if you have a boneless thigh (I always get the bone-in, toss the bone in the pan first, let it cook a few minutes longer than the rest, and save it for stock).
Cook the chicken for 5 minutes. Once it's done, transfer it to a plate while you cook the eggplant.
Dry the eggplant with a paper towel.
Add the remaining oil to the pan. When it gets hot, add the eggplant slices.
Cook, stirring, and turning the eggplant occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until it's brown and slightly crispy.
Now add the sauce. Cook another minute or so, then add the chicken back to the pan.
Raise the heat to high and bring the entire thing to a boil. Let that cook for a minute or two.
Sweet, slightly tangy and great for this dish, as well as marinades. Try it with a simple pork roast, sliced and served with steamed bread and scallions. Or, marinate fish with garlic, hoisin, and five spice powder. It’s also great in stir fries.
In case you haven’t guessed (since I keep mentioning it), I love this stuff. It’s got more heat than sriracha (which has sugar), plus the extra flavor boost from garlic. I put it on eggs, in marinades, stir-fries, veggies, enchiladas, soup. Someone on Amazon mentioned mixing it with some plum sauce and cooking it with chicken. I’m going to try that next!
If you want to be authentic, get the chili paste. Use it for this recipe, or for making Thai or Indonesian recipes. It makes a great starting base for marinades and sauces. Mix it into meatloaf or top some scrambled eggs. Think of it as sriracha with more kick.
The source of this recipe for chicken with olives and tomatoes will probably surprise you. It’s a North African recipe from a Jewish cookbook. You probably think of lox and bagels and matzo balls when you think of Jewish cuisine, but it’s really far more varied than that. This is just one example. My recipe for Moroccan chicken and bean soup was adapted from the same cookbook.
This recipe looks a bit complicated, but it really isn’t. The flavors of the chicken, olives, garlic, and a bit of ginger make it rich and delicious (with a hint of spiciness). It’s not a quick meal though, so save it for when you have more time (or on a weekend).
Try to use pitted olives, it will make the whole thing much easier!
North African chicken recipe with olives, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger. It's probably not what you expect from Jewish cuisine!
1T olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 chicken thigh
2T pureed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
tiny pinch powdered saffron
3/4 C water
5-6 green pitted olives
squeeze of lemon juice
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook them until they wilt.
Add the garlic and the ginger and stir thoroughly.
Next add the chicken, turning it regularly, and cook for a minute or two until they get slightly brown.
Add the tomatoes and the saffron to the pan..
Season with salt and pepper (not too much salt, because the olives are salty)
Pour in the water (it should just cover the chicken)
Cook on low heat for about 30 minutes.
Turn the chicken every ten minutes or so and check to make sure the water hasn't evaporated. Add more water if necessary.
While the chicken is cooking, heat some water in a small saucepan. When it comes to a boil, add the olives. Cook for 30 seconds or so. Then drain them and add to the chicken mixture.
Cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and the coriander and serve.
A note about the saffron. I realize it's hideously expensive. Someone brought me a container of saffron threads rom the Middle East (where it's dirt cheap), so I don't mind so much. The powdered version is a bit cheaper though.
Soak this in a bit of hot water before you use it. Saffron adds a flavor that’s hard to describe, as well as beautiful reddish-yellow color. Use it for Moroccan dishes (like this one), or for Indian food. Just a tiny bit will do the trick.
Buying pre-pitted olives saves a lot of time (and waste). Use this for this chicken dish, serve them with an antipasto platter, or put them in pasta. Or, add some olive oil, garlic, and rosemary, and marinate them. Serve that with a cheese platter.
This is part cookbook and part travel diary. The author includes brief histories of the communities that created the dishes, and how they adapted local cuisine to suit religious restrictions. There’s recipes for the expected kugel, split pea soup, and chopped liver. But then it goes off to Spain, Baghdad, and India. From there you get leek meatballs, eggplant fritters, chicken with rice croquettes, borekas, lamb with raisins and almonds, and pumpkin kofta curry.