Creamy Chicken with Wild Rice and Mushrooms ~ this earthy, stick-to-your-ribs skillet dinner is ideal for a chilly fall night!
I have a weakness for creamy chicken dishes, I think most of us do, it must be in our dna. Have you tried my Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Mustard Sauce? Or my Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives? When you say ‘comfort food’ this is the kind of thing that springs to my mind, and when I know something like this Creamy Chicken with Wild Rice and Mushrooms is on the menu, I look forward to dinner all day long.
It’s the combination of ingredients in this dish that gives it that restaurant quality, but happily there’s no extra effort involved. It’s a simple matter of using a shallot instead of an onion, deglazing the pan with Marsala wine, and using plenty of fresh thyme and heavy cream that elevates this dish and gives it a fancy vibe.
TIP: To keep the chicken skin crispy, don’t cover the top of the thighs with sauce.
Wild rice is one of my favorite fall ingredients…the long dark grains are actually a type of marsh grass native to the Great Lakes. Most stores carry it next to the regular rice, and it usually comes in a slender box.
TIP: To cook wild rice, bring at least 3 times as much cold water to a boil, add rice, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 40-50 minutes, or just until tender, and then drain. The rice should be characteristically chewy, so don’t over cook it.
Wild rice gives a boost of color and nutty flavor to lots of dishes. It looks really pretty and has a firm, chewy texture. Both my Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Nuts and Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currents and Herbs are naturally vegan and gluten free and would be a fabulous addition to any fall or holiday table.
- 8 bone in, skin on, chicken thighs
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 large shallots, finely minced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (your choice, I used shitake and cremini)
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup Marsala wine
- 1 Tbsp Wondra flour
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth or stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
- more fresh thyme leaves
- Set the oven to 400F
- Season the thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and brown the thighs, skin side down first, for about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet.
- Bake the chicken for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Set aside.
- Drain off any excess fat from the skillet, leaving a little behind in the pan. Saute the shallots for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and thyme leaves to the pan and continue sauteing for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and softened. Add the Marsala wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer. Remove the shallots and mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the flour, stir to combine and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the stock to the pan and whisk to combine. Add the cream and stir while the mixture comes up to a simmer. Taste the sauce to adjust the seasonings.
- Put the mushrooms back into the skillet, along with the wild rice. Bring everything up to a simmer. Nestle the chicken thighs into the sauce, and heat until the chicken is warmed through. Serve garnished with more fresh thyme.
- The sauce will thicken after chilling, so for leftovers, just thin with a little stock, milk, or cream.
- You can cut calories in this creamy chicken with wild rice and mushrooms by using half and half in place of the cream.