Here's my proposition to make boneless, skinless chicken breasts a whole lot more interesting: Get them drunk. Yes, the protein can often be likened to that colleague who is a touch boring and has a personality that's a little too dry, but get her a bit tipsy at the work happy hour and suddenly she's way more fun to be around. These chicken breasts are swimming in a fragrant shallot and tarragon wine sauce and paired with earthy mushrooms for a winning dinner any night of the week.
A Better Chicken Breast Dinner, Thanks to White Wine
Chicken breasts are a weeknight dinner staple for so many households because of their accessibility and ease, but the unfortunate truth is that more often than not they are cooked up to be dry and tasteless. Here, however, they are moist and succulent. That's because they're cooked in a healthy splash of white wine and chicken broth. The wine in particular helps tenderize the meat while infusing it with rich flavor. The result is a one-pan dinner that brings the ho-hum meat into a whole new light.
Wine and Dine: What to Drink
If you're getting the chicken drunk, you may as well pour a glass of that wine for yourself too. Pick up a bottle of unoaked Chardonnay to make this dish, and save what's left in the bottle after cooking to enjoy at the dinner table. While many think of Chardonnay as a buttery, vanilla-rich white wine, that's actually the style in which it is made rather than the Chardonnay itself. When it's not aged in oak barrels, the Chardonnay grapes make a lean, mineral-driven wine, which is an ideal counterpart to this not-too-heavy dish.
3 Bottles of Unoaked Chardonnay Under $15
Drunken Chicken and Mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided
Juice of 1 small lemon
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow dish or bowl, sprinkle with the flour, and toss lightly to coat.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and sauté until browned but not completely cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms and shallot to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon. Simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes.
Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid thickens into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of tarragon and lemon juice. Serve over cooked pasta, rice, couscous, creamy polenta, or on its own in shallow bowls to hold the sauce.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.