Main Course, Recipes

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs in Mushroom Sauce

Over the weekend my Mom gave me this beautiful princess house pan.  I’ve been eager to break it in all week!  I thought about a paella, but I’ve never made paella before so I went with something more familiar.  I’ve been in the mood for some fried chicken, but the thought of how much oil I’d be eating along with that chicken, made my liver cringe.  What I made instead was pan-fried chicken cooked in it’s own fat.  No additional oils were used, and it came our perfect!

I hope you enjoy these pan-fried, bone-in chicken thighs with a simple mushroom sauce.

Pan-fried chicken thighs in mushroom sauce

We rarely cook bone-in chicken like this in our house.  Usually I’ll take the leaner, easier route, and buy boneless & skinless chicken when we do have chicken on the menu.  Every now and then however, it’s nice to have a rotisserie chicken, but for some reason or another, they never sit well in our stomachs.  Too much fat I suppose.

Whenever I buy raw bone-in chicken, the first thing I do before cooking it is rinse all the pieces and remove any excess fat.  Some fat is good, just not all of it.  Otherwise, it WILL be extra greasy, which can be a good thing if you’re into that, but I prefer a balance.  Lots of meat, very little skin, moist, and minimal grease.  The skin has to have a light crisp bite to it too.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 2So how does one accomplish this middle ground of having just the right ratio of meat and fat without too much grease?  It’s simple!  Trim off all the excess fat, and leave just enough skin to cover only the top of the thigh.  Use kitchen shears for this.  It’s so much easier to cut off the fat with scissors than a knife.

Season both sides with garlic salt, ground coriander seed, and a light sprinkle of crushed black pepper.  Cook them on a large non-stick pan with a lid on medium heat.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 3Now here’s the trick to getting a nice golden crispy piece of skin without having to turn the oven on.  Cook the chicken skin side down first.  That’s it!  This is also the reason why you don’t need to add any additional oil to cook the chicken.  The fat that comes off the skin is more than enough to cook everything in this meal.  You can even use the oil for Mexican rice if you want that as your side.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 4Be sure to cover the chicken for the entire 25 minutes!  Leave a small opening to allow some of the steam to escape.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 5

After 25 minutes, turn them over and continue to cook for another 15 minutes partially covered.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 7While the chicken is cooking, mince the scallions, save a little (about 1 tablespoon) for later if you want to add some to your meal when it’s done.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 6After 15 minutes, turn them over one more time just to get the skin a little crispier. Let them cook another 5 minutes uncovered.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 8Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the pan.  Set them aside.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 9Scoop out all the little bits of chicken and skin and oil that are left on the pan.  Leave about 2 teaspoons of the oil.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 10Turn the burner back on to medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and scallions. Saute for about 10 minutes.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce 11In a large cup or bowl, whisk together the milk, water, and cornstarch to make a slurry.  Add it to the mushrooms.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs in Mushroom Sauce Add the garlic salt.  Simmer on medium-low heat.  Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes.

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs in Mushroom Sauce Return the chicken back to the pan along with any drippings from the chicken.  Do not throw that chicken juice away! There’s lots of flavor in there.

Continue simmering the sauce with chicken on medium-low for another 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and sprinkle some minced scallion and chopped cilantro leaves over the chicken if you’d like.  Adding fresh herbs at the end of cooking elevates the aromas and flavors of a meal, don’t you think?

 

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs in Mushroom Sauce

 

 

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs in Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces of bone-in chicken thighs with skin on
  • garlic salt
  • ground coriander
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions
  • 16 ounce package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon minced scallion (optional garnish)
  • chopped cilantro leaves (optional garnish)

Instructions

  1. Rinse chicken thighs and remove excess fat with kitchen scissors. Leave some skin on top. Lightly season each side of the thighs with garlic salt, coriander, and pepper. In a large 14" non-stick pan, place the thighs skin side down. Turn on the burner to medium heat and cover, leaving a small opening to create a steam vent. After 25 minutes, flip them over and cook the other side of the thighs for an additional 15 minutes. For crispier skin, flip them over one more time (skin side down this time) and cook and additional five minutes. Turn off the burner and remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. With a large spoon or small ladle, carefully remove all excess oil and any pieces of skin that are left on the pan. Turn the burner back on to medium-low heat and add the minced scallions and sliced mushrooms. Saute for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the milk, water, and cornstarch. Whisk together until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add the liquid to the pan with mushrooms and scallions. Bring to a low boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with minced scallions and cilantro leaves if desired.
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