Recipe: Drunken Chicken and Mushrooms

updated May 1, 2019
Drunken Chicken and Mushrooms
A one-pan recipe for chicken breasts sautéed with mushrooms in an aromatic white wine sauce.


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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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

  • Four Vines Naked Chardonnay, California, $9.79
  • Babich Chardonnay, New Zealand, $10.96
  • Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay, California, $14.99

Drunken Chicken and Mushrooms

A one-pan recipe for chicken breasts sautéed with mushrooms in an aromatic white wine sauce.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces

  • Kosher salt

  • 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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.