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Herb chicken and mushrooms is easy, elegant dinner favorite

Rosemary-garlic roasted red potatoes make a great accompaniment for Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor1 / 3
As the chicken bakes, saute the mushrooms and measure the other ingredients needed to make the pan sauce. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 3
Toss the potatoes with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to evenly distribute. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor3 / 3

This week's featured recipe has become one of our family's favorite go-to chicken dishes. Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms is easy to prepare, elegant in appearance, affordable and — most importantly — delicious.

Gio (our son) and I discovered this dish last summer when my Aunt Margie (Mathison Hance) made it for us during a visit to her home on Pelican Lake.

Our visits there are always memorable, as there is hardly anyone on earth more fun than Aunt Margie (also known as The Great Pumpkin in our family).

But for weeks afterward, without fail, whenever we reminisced about our visit Gio would lick his lips and gush, "And remember that amazing chicken dish she made?" Thank goodness he asked for the recipe before the end of our stay.

This recipe came to Margie by way of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and while I often like to adjust an established recipe to suit our own taste and style, this one is practically perfect as it is. The only adjustment I've made is to vary the type of chicken used — the recipe calls just for thighs, but I like to add some drumsticks for variation, as well as breasts for those who don't care for dark meat.

Fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley create the blend of three herbs, and they are added to both the chicken pieces before they are cooked, as well as the sauce, making for a wonderful infusion of flavor in the dish.

Once the chicken has been seasoned with the fresh herbs, salt and pepper, it is browned in a large pan, skin-side down, then baked in a 400-degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until an internal temperature of 170 has been achieved.

If you have an oven-safe pan, you can go straight from the stovetop to the oven without interruption; if you don't, then simply transfer the browned chicken to a baking dish, skin-side up, before placing in the oven. Once the chicken is cooked, be sure to add any of the liquid drippings back to the pan when making the sauce.

As the chicken bakes, prepare the mushrooms and measure the other ingredients needed to make the pan sauce, including more fresh herbs, flour, chicken broth or stock, dry white wine (sauvignon blanc or chardonnay) and Dijon mustard.

The recipe calls for either button or crimini mushrooms, and because I've used crimini quite a bit lately (also known as baby portabellas), I chose to go with button for this recipe. I looked for a package with relatively small button mushrooms, as I find their appearance most pleasing in this dish when cut in half.

Mushrooms are a wonderful source of flavor and nutrition, and a regular staple in my fall and winter cooking repertoire.

Savory and piquant, mushrooms bring flavor, fragrance and texture to a dish, as well as an infusion of D and B vitamins, antioxidants and immune-boosting properties.

I serve this Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms with our Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes and a simple green salad, and it is a home run every time.

I love the comforting, savory quality of this dish and the fact that I can make this elegant dinner for our family in under an hour, for less than $20. Thank you, Aunt Margie!

Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms

(from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine)

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs, skin-on, or any variation of pieces you prefer

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped and divided

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped and divided

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

6 to 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, halved or quartered

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth or stock

½ cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Season chicken on sides with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary and 1 tablespoon of the thyme.

In a large cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, skin sides down; cook for 5 to 7 minutes until browned on one side.

Turn chicken pieces over and place skillet in oven, or transfer to a baking dish, skin sides up. Set pan aside to be used again when making the sauce.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through and an internal temperature of 170 degrees has been achieved. Use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.

If using one pan, remove chicken from skillet; set aside and cover to keep warm. If using a baking dish, pour all the liquid drippings into the same pan/skillet used to cook the chicken, then cover baking dish with foil to keep chicken warm.

In the skillet, cook mushrooms over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stirring to coat, and cook for another minute.

Stir in the chicken broth/stock, white wine and mustard. Continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and bubbly, then cook and stir for 1 minute more.

Remove skillet from heat. Stir in the remaining rosemary, thyme and the parsley. Serve mushrooms and sauce over chicken with roasted red potatoes and a simple mixed greens salad.

Once the potatoes are baked, toss with fresh parsley and serve hot. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2.5 to 3 pounds small red potatoes, halved or quartered

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves (1 tablespoon), minced

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters depending on their size. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil and cover with the olive oil.

Distribute the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper evenly over the potatoes and use your hands to toss together until combined.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven, toss with fresh parsley and serve hot.

"Home With the Lost Italian" is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello's in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their 12-year-old son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.

All previous recipes can be found at thelostitalian.areavoices.com.

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