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Every year, the people in my town gossip about mushrooms the way I imagine people gossip about office romances. Who found what mushroom? What did you see at the farmers market this week? Is it true someone found morels in their backyard and, if so, where exactly did they find them?
Mushrooms are a gift. I've never found morels under my deck, but I love keeping them around to sauté and toss into stuffing, or quinoa, or lentils. For the longest time, I did not like mushrooms at all. I thought they were tasteless, squishy things with the texture of craft foam, and their only real purpose in the world was to give us something to pick off pizzas. To be fair, that was mostly my experience of mushrooms until I was well into adulthood, when I finally tasted some well-prepared mushrooms and became obsessed with their earthy, savory flavor.
I love to brown them in butter and toss them into grain bowls for lunch, but they're also an excellent way to make a deeply indulgent sauce for virtually any pasta or protein. This one-skillet recipe for chicken thighs in mushroom and wine sauce, for example, turns out a silky mushroom sauce that's easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but rich and flavorful enough to impress any visiting gourmets.
The recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, because the thigh meat is easier to cook without it drying out. The thighs are cooked in a skillet, then put aside. The mushrooms are sautéed right in the pan that was used for cooking the chicken, then they are also removed and set aside. They can go on the same plate, because they'll be going back in the pan together in the end anyway.
A bit of wine and sodium-free beef broth make a flavorful pan sauce, with a bit of flour added to the fat in the pan to help thicken the sauce a bit. Then all you have to do is simmer the sauce until it thickens up and looks delicious, put the chicken back in the pan, and get ready to serve it with pasta or potatoes.
Get the Recipe: Skillet Chicken Thighs in Mushroom and Wine Sauce from What's in the Pan