Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chicken with Mushrooms & Bacon

I'm always on the look out for main dishes that are easy to make ahead, and even transport somewhere else if necessary.  My husband jams with a little rock band of guys on Tuesday nights, so the 'groupie' wives take turns feeding this motley crew.  They are enthusiastic eaters and very appreciative of whatever we feed them too.  I love to feed people like that!

I sauteed the mushrooms-bacon mixture the night before, and got the chicken thighs ready to go in 9x13 pans and popped them into the fridge (covered) until the next day. I worked all day and ran straight to practice, whew. While the band was jammin', we threw the sauteed mushrooms around the chicken, added a cup of wine to each pan and baked it up.  Delicious smells filled the house, and then we filled our bellies!

There are many great recipes out there for chicken, bacon and mushrooms, but I made this one up because I needed something different than they offered.  I used bone-in chicken thighs with most of the skin attached for a reason, I felt it added to the presentation of the dish and I think that the chicken has more flavor cooked on the bone with skin on.

Trim the chicken thighs of some of the skin if it looks like there is a bunch of extra hanging off.  I think you could make this with the boneless, skinless kind but it could be drier and not as pretty to serve. I bought the big pack of baby bella brown mushrooms at Costco specifically for this dish,  I wanted the meatiness of the portabella mushroom, so if you can't find the baby bella kind, just chop up portbella mushrooms.  I think even white button mushrooms would work fine too.

Serves 6-8

4 lbs, about 12-16 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
24 oz. mushrooms- mini bella's or other brown, sliced
1/2 lb bacon, sliced
1 large onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
4-5 fresh sprigs thyme, or 2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups wine, red or white (I used white)
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add the uncooked chicken thighs, skin side up in the bottom of a 9x13 baking pans.  Salt and pepper generously. Set aside

In a large saute pan, or dutch oven, over medium high heat, cook the chopped bacon until it starts to release some fat and cooks up a bit, stirring, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the chopped onions, thyme and garlic.  Cook another 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to soften.

Add the chopped mushrooms.  Saute for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms start to shrink in size and release some liquid.  Add some salt and pepper and taste to make sure it tastes good to you.

Add the mushrooms around the chicken thighs, but don't cover them up, just surround them with the mixture.  Add one cup of white or red wine to each pan and bake, uncovered, for 60 minutes.  Check often and spoon some of the liquid over the tops of the chicken thighs.  The skin will start to brown and get crispy.

Let sit for 5 minutes or so, then serve with some brown rice, mashed potatoes, cous cous or quinoa. 
Here's some other good "comfort food" chicken recipes
Chicken, Bacon and Prunes (Colombian)
Chicken Marbella

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