This is the first recipe with mushrooms I've ever posted on the blog! In all this time! Which is crazy because I love mushrooms. But no one else in my house will eat them so I never cook with them.
But then I decided since I’m a grown woman, I can cook whatever I want.
I’m a grown woman. Years ago, when I was still living way too much of my life making other people happy, this expression helped me snap out of it.
As women (especially Southern women) we tend to be a little too subservient when it comes to doing stuff we just don’t want to do (mixers, luncheons, fundraisers, at-home sales parties, showers, community service events, birthday parties, weddings, etc.). And it’s not always that we don’t want to, it’s that other parts of our lives suffer when we spend all our time and energy making other people happy. We have to tend our own gardens too, y’all.
I had somewhat of an epiphany about this in my mid-twenties. I had spent almost every weekend of the entire year schlepping to events I didn't want to go to and finally decided I didn't have to go to all of them. Of course, there are some things you really do have to go to (your sister’s wedding) but there are others that you really just don’t (your neighbor’s nail fungus research fundraiser). I was about to get ready for yet another ditty I didn't want to go to when I glanced around my cozy little condo and wanted to do nothing more than hibernate in yoga pants and watch Sex in the City all day. My career and social life were wearing me slap out. I had a moment when I was just staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and I said to myself, “I’m a grown damn woman. I don’t have to.” So I didn't.
And p.s… learn the art of saying no. Don’t lie. Don’t make excuses. Don’t over-explain yourself. Just simply decline. All you have to say is, “As much as I'd like to say yes, the answer will have to be no.” Or, “Though I’d love to go, I’m afraid I can’t.” That’s all you have to say. You know why? Because you’re a grown d@%# woman.
And yes, this applies to grown d@%# men too.
So! Since it had been TEN YEARS since I’d cooked anything with mushrooms in my own d@%# kitchen, I decided to this weekend! It was easy enough to work around the mushrooms when making everyone’s plates too. I was a little worried they wouldn't like the gravy but none of them batted an eye or made any comments about it tasting like mushrooms. I served this with mashed potatoes and it was amazing!
Crock Pot Smothered Chicken with Mushroom Gravy
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, pepper & garlic powder
8 ounces crimini (“baby bella”) or button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth*
Cut each chicken breast into two thin cutlets (reducing the thickness in half, not the width). Season both sides of each cutlet with salt, pepper and garlic powder; set aside.
Pour just enough olive oil into a large skillet to coat the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, brown chicken pieces on each side then set aside. We’re not cooking them through, just searing them on each side. Work in batches so not to overcrowd the pan.
Once all chicken pieces are browned and removed from pan, reduce heat to medium then add mushrooms, thyme and butter to pan, season with a little pepper then sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add flour to mushrooms and stir to coat. Continue cooking flour and mushrooms for 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth to mushrooms. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until gravy is thickened and smooth. Taste for salt and add if necessary.
Add chicken cutlets to crock pot then cover with mushroom gravy. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. You can also return the cutlets to the gravy in the pan, cover, and cook on low for 1 hour.
Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.
*I was out of chicken broth so I dissolved 4 chicken bouillon cubes into 2 cups of hot water. I didn’t have to add any salt to the gravy since the bouillon is salty.
aaaaaand I was feeling artsy :)