Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lemon Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

     Oh. My. Heavens.  This was in my opinion perhaps the best dinner I've ever made.  I loved it!  I say that unashamedly because my husband has already put my humility in check by assuring me that it was great but not THE BEST thus far.  I humbly disagree. Ya'll have to try this.  It makes an impressive presentation and is low stress.  The key to this one is to make sure you do all of the prep before you start cooking.  And really, all that means is have your broccoli and mushrooms cut up and placed in separate bowls, ready to be poured in.  And there's plenty of time while the chicken is cooking to do that.  This will come in 3 parts: Chicken, Mushroom Sauce, and the Broccoli for a side (because I tried some new seasonings on the broccoli and really enjoyed it so I think you should try it too).  Alright, here ya go, promise me you'll give this one a try! 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
2 Tbl olive oil
2 lemons
garlic powder
lemon pepper
salt and pepper
fresh parsley

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  In a baking dish, pour in 1 Tbl of the olive oil.  Using a basting brush, spread around bottom of pan. Use any excess to brush both sides of chicken, adding more as needed (I just poured oil onto the brush repeatedly as needed until all the chicken breasts were coated, don't be TOO liberal though!  It just needs a light coat).  
3.  After rolling a lemon on the counter while applying pressure (to release the juices), cut the lemon in half and squeeze both halves over both sides of the chicken.
4.  Next, season both sides of chicken with garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and rosemary.  I'll be honest, I didn't measure so I don't even want to guess how much I put on.  But use your own good judgement and just give a moderate dusting of spices on both sides of the chicken.  
5.  Slice the remaining lemon and arrange lemon slices on top of chicken breasts. Here's what mine looked like going into the oven: 

6.  Cover with tinfoil and bake in preheated oven 30-40 minutes until cooked through.  
7.  Remove tinfoil and broil in oven for about 1-2 minutes until browned.  Keep an eye on it though because broiling can burn your food REALLY fast if you're not careful!  I forgot about mine and almost did just that!  Luckily it was just a tad bit more browned than I would have preferred by the time I caught it. 
8.  Garnish with fresh parsley.  Here's what mine looked like post baking and broiling:

2 c. wild rice, uncooked
16 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (or substitute garlic powder)
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1/3 c. butter
3 to 4 Tbl flour
1 1/2 Tbl cornstarch
1/4 c. white cooking wine
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
lemon pepper
poultry seasoning
2 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped

[Prepare rice according to package directions- wild rice takes longer to cook than white rice so make sure to check the instructions beforehand so you're not waiting on the rice like I was!]
1.  In a frying pan over medium heat melt butter. 
2.  Add mushrooms and garlic and saute 5-6 minutes over medium to medium-high heat until the mushrooms are cooked through and have exuded their juices
3.  Stir in flour
4.  Add chicken broth, and cooking wine.  Dissolve cornstarch in the cream and then stir into the mushroom mixture.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Add a dash of poultry seasoning if you have it on hand, and then at least 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper.  I probably added more than that but you can taste test the sauce later and adjust to your liking. 
5.  After everything but the parsley is mixed in well, bring to a boil, stirring often. 
6.  Reduce heat to low, add parsley, and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Once it thickens, taste test the sauce and adjust seasonings if needed.  

3 heads of broccoli, cut into spears
2 Tbl butter
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt to taste

1.  In a sauce pan, place 1/2 in. to 1 in. of water.  Bring to boil over medium high heat.
2.  Add broccoli and cover with a lid. 
3.  Steam for about 5 to 6 minutes and then reduce heat to low.  Drain any excess water that did not evaporate.  Mix in the butter, lemon pepper, garlic salt, thyme, and salt.  Serve! 

Now, in order to make an impressive presentation make sure you dish up the rice, add the mushroom sauce over the rice, and then place the garnished chicken on top of the sauce.  Serve broccoli on the side and you have a colorful, yummy, flavorful meal! 

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