Chicken with cream and mushroom sauce with polenta
Chicken with cream and mushroom sauce is one of my favorite meals, and one of the first main courses I tried making when I first started cooking. The creamy sauce is flavored with lots of garlic and just a pinch of nutmeg, and it’s ready in no more than 30 minutes.
You only need one skillet to make this yummy dish, do a bit of sautéing, let the cream simmer for a while, and there you have it! A nice lunch or dinner course, which can be served with pasta, rice, French fries, baked potatoes and more. This time, I wanted to serve the chicken with some Romanian polenta, called mămăligă in Romania. This type of polenta is popular all around the country, and you can find it in every traditional Romanian restaurant, and not only.
The polenta is extremely easy to make – you boil some water with salt, gradually add the cornmeal, stir for a few minutes, and it’s ready. The texture of polenta, similar to a thick porridge, goes perfectly with the chicken with cream and mushroom sauce.
When I first started making this dish, I always used sour cream. I think that I made it at least 10 times, and the sour cream kept on curdling each time I added it to the pan (I still liked the result though). I didn’t know a lot about cooking at that time, so I probably just added the cream over the sautéed chicken breast, on high heat, and expected it to turn out right.
Well, it didn’t, until one day, when I actually discovered a chicken with cream and mushroom sauce recipe. I found out that using a type of cream which is not fermented like the sour cream, such as regular, liquid cream, will work out much better, since this type of cream doesn’t curdle.
I think that the best idea is to use a combination of these two – this way, the chicken with mushroom sauce will get its tangy taste from the sour cream, as well as the supple creaminess of the regular cream. For this recipe, I used champignon mushrooms, the white type, but I think it would look even prettier with brown mushrooms. I like it best with some pickles, but since summer is so close, you can serve it with a cucumber and dill salad, with a bit of vinegar and olive oil.
Chicken with cream and mushroom sauce
500 g (18 oz.) chicken breast
45 ml (3 tablespoons) oil
500 g (4 cups) mushrooms, sliced
400 ml (1 ¾ cup) cream
100 g (1/2 cup) sour cream
5 garlic cloves
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Dill or parsley for garnishing
Romanian polenta (mămăligă)
1 l (4 cups) water
1 teaspoon salt
300 g (2 cups) cornmeal
Optional – 25 g butter
For the chicken with cream and mushroom sauce
- Finely chop the onion and cook them in the oil on low heat, until translucent.
- Cut the chicken breast into bite-size pieces, and sauté them until they’re just a bit golden.
- Add the mushrooms on top of the chicken breast, and sauté for a few minutes, until the mushrooms are slightly cooked.
- Add the regular cream, let it warm up for 2-3 minutes, then add the sour cream and chopped garlic and gently stir until combined.
- Add salt and pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, and continue stirring until the sauce has reduced to a creamy consistency.
- Turn off the heat and add chopped dill or parsley on top.
For the Romanian polenta (mămăligă)
- In a medium, non-stick pot, bring the water with salt to a boil.
- Gradually add the cornmeal, stirring continuously with a whisk, to avoid lumps.
- After adding all the cornmeal, use a wooden spoon and stir for 10-15 minutes more, depending on how thick you want the polenta to be.
- Transfer the polenta on a wooden board by turning the pot over the board (or any other heatproof, round shape form), as soon as you take it off the heat.
- When the polenta is still hot, you can add some butter on top for extra flavor.